Find a Phrase that Pays: Let your Differentiating Value be your Message


You’ve heard it before: the KISS principle is smart for business. Keep your message short and simple, but it’s equally as important to make it memorable.

So why do people in business continue to bury their prospects with an avalanche of words? It’s because they haven’t stopped to define what they’re bringing to their prospect’s world, and to see that value through the eyes of their ideal client. Never lose sight of the objective: prospects must understand what they will lose if they opt not to do business with you. It’s your differentiating value – the most important aspect you are bringing to them.

Now start the process to artfully craft your message/elevator pitch, keeping your differentiating value in mind. You’ll use this to drive your message without interruption, break the ice when networking, and build prospect traction with your business focus. The challenge is to get outside of your own thinking and start thinking in the client’s terms. Your differentiating value is what the client thinks and cares about. What would your current clients say about you? These thought points will help you to get going.

Define the purpose of your business. What value are you delivering to your client or customer? What would your current clients say about you?

Example:  We help other businesses find their ideal clients and grow.

Define how your business delivers. Go with the action verb(s) that convey(s) what the company does.

Example:  Our company…works with / builds / delivers / enables / ____________

Build a profile of your target market.  Ask questions:  What is the economic demographic? Annual revenue? Number of offices, employees, etc.

Think up as many questions as you like – you can have fun with this. Imagine what your ideal customer does throughout the day, and how your product or service fits in. Take it even further:  Consider anything that builds a true portrait of the organization / individual that is best suited for your product or service.

List what your prospects will lose by not using your product or service. You’re in business to solve a problem, right? So what problems will arise (or stick around) as a result of their declining your offering?

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Now you have the basic points for your phrase that pays.  But go deeper to ensure that your message always hits the mark.

  • Consider your intended audience. Who will read this and in what context? Are you going to use this as a mission statement on your website and throughout your sales and marketing materials? What tone will best present what your business is all about?

  • Make clarity your ultimate goal. Use terms that are easily relatable. Forget the grand words intended to dazzle, rather than relay. You don’t want the person hearing your message to gloss over mid-way through. Rather, you want them to ask for more.

  • Don’t have it all be about you. Prospects buy for their reasons – not yours.  Keep the focus on how you improve their business.  

  • Leave room for questions. The mechanics of what you offer can come later. Right now you want to engage your audience; make them ask you questions, don’t overwhelm or bore them – two true turnoffs.

  • Practice. If you’re going to be delivering before an audience, or one-on-one, practice saying it. Befriend your mirror; once you perfect your style of delivery, you’ll never walk away from a presentation wondering if you looked authoritative.

It won’t take long to get your message/pitch to a place where it comes naturally. Remember that if you’re not clearly and concisely translating what your product or service will do for your prospect, they are not going to do it for you. Get to the point and get your prospects engaged. Don’t waste time splashing around in the word waterfall!

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Chief Revenue Officer! B2B Success Model, Carl Moe, Eighth Edition, ©2016