Trying to explain the importance of what you do, is one of the hardest things as a business professional you have to face. And now, due to limited attention spans, you have to do it fast! You know what I’m talking about and it’s a real challenge. You need to know how best to communicate your value in a way that demonstrates, and quantifies, your worth to potential customers, employers, you-name-it.
I hear this all the time. Picture that job evaluation conversation. Are you ready to ask for a raise? Or, is the mere thought of that closed door experience enough to make you want to run for the hills? If so, you’re not alone.
The reality is that we all struggle with finding the right way to express value in a way that doesn’t come off as bragging. Women tell me it’s really hard because they tend to see themselves as “pleasers,” and don’t want to upset anyone. Confrontation is not their strong suit in these situations when they are frequently dealing with a male boss. Men tell me they can come off as boasting without evidence to back up their claims.
So, let’s break this down.
First of all, focus on the end result. How have your efforts produced a positive outcome? That could mean anything from people losing weight because the diet you created actually works – to sales at your company increasing two-fold in a short amount of time based on your innovative approach.
Secondly, when you explain the benefits of your product, service, etc, give examples. Not only are we listening to hear what problem you solved, but why did your new fangled way work so well? Specifics work well here.
Finally, wrap it up so we can see and feel the change that you created.
Example: “We are now the leading provider of staplers in a five-state region. When I started with the All State Stapling Company six months ago, sales had fallen off by 30%. We did some necessary, competitive, market research and reached out to customers. By doing this, we identified a major problem. Our competition has been diversifying their products and we had not. Our staplers looked very ho-hum. My team found a way to produce staplers that are easier to use, sleek in design, and more cost-effective per unit. Our numbers show the new social media marketing plan we implemented has been paying off. As a result, the All-State Stapler is now on track to double sales by the end of the year. We are proud of our brand, our efforts, and the fact that we now offer the hottest item on any office manager’s Christmas list!”
Of course I made that up. But by the end of this short presentation, the person speaking has laid out a very convincing case. They have provided a framework that allows someone to ask follow-up questions. This person with the stapler company is a problem solver. Professionals who think this way are in high demand. The marketplace is changing all the time. Job descriptions mean less than a positive attitude and a can-do mindset.
Make sure you communicate your value in this way, and you’ll have a competitive edge.
As a Strategic Communications Consultant, Mary Jane McKittrick is a messaging expert who specializes in the art of the pitch. Mary Jane skillfully works with business professionals to craft engaging, effective messaging that gets results. Mary Jane is a former TV News Anchor, Reporter, and Producer for 3 network affiliate stations. She has worked behind the camera in Entertainment TV, and as an on-camera host of 2 nationally syndicated TV shows. Ms. McKittrick was in charge of overseeing communications for 5 statewide offices while serving as Director of Corporate Communications for a large healthcare company in North Carolina.
If you’re not getting the results you want, contact her at: http://www.maryjanemckittrick.com/claritysession/