Have you at one point or another tried to sell something to some person?
As business people and as a business person, we spend a lot of our time trying out new ways of positioning ourselves/businesses to gain more sales. It’s fine if you’re reading this and you don’t run a conventional business. Chances are you still in the act of selling.
Here’s what I mean, if you’re an employee looking for a job, the day you get invited for an interview, you’re expected to share why your potential employer should hire you. That’s selling your skills.
We’re all in the business of trying to trade what we can do for what we want.
It is therefore important for every business owner or employee to first focus on the core skills/selling value. So, I will focus on how to position yourself to your clients in a noisy market.
Just as you know, the word business here represents whatever value that can be given out in exchange for some reward. That means as an employee, this includes your skill set
What will you say to someone like Dangote should in case you meet him in an elevator? This can be elevator or event, but the summary is you’re with him and you have less than 3 mins to say it all…
What’s the way out you may ask? Have a ready elevator pitch and spend time improving it.
It is the summary of what you do, presented in the most appealing way with the aim of converting the listener to take a second interest in what you do.
My colleague once mentioned to me that elevator pitches are like miniskirts. They are short enough to get you hooked, but long enough to not reveal secrets.
Another way to sell yourself is to have a ready complimentary/business card. However, the thing about business cards are, no one takes them serious until they take you serious.
But this does not mean they’re aren’t important, because after all your executive summary and your listener gets hooked but has to quickly attend to something else, how will you be contacted for a future business.
“Prepare your speech then your card.”
For an employee seeking for a job, your card is the equivalent of CV/resumè. It’s necessary to have it ready. You never know when the chance will present itself
Why Business cards?
Let’s see why you need a business card and it’s not overrated as some might think.
- A business card is the first impression of your brand. Just like a store signage, it is the contact a potential buyer/investor has of your brand.
- Creative business cards tends to get shared even more. This is also good business for you.
- A business card shows you’re prepared for business. Please who has the strength to go around with a jotter to be collect contacts? Lol…
I should mention this now, the goal is not to share your business cards to everyone. It is to create a compelling engagement to them interested enough to want your card, otherwise, your card will be collected out of courtesy and that’s it.
Here’s some statistics to help you understand better..
- An average of 27,000,000 business cards are printed daily. If this number is near correct, an average of 10 billion are printed annually.
- Of the 10 billion printed, over 8 billion are tossed out within the same week. That’s only 2 cards in every 10 stand a chance. This means more than 88% of cards printed don’t last the week.
- Of the percentage of cards discarded, the primary reason was because they didn’t see the reason to contact you. I would have said call for your services, but chances are someone a bit more convincing got the job.
You might want to read this
Now all of these are all nice and awesome and you probably already have a card and a fairly good speech. What could possibly be missing?
Uh.. Let’s see. So imagine this, you speak with a potential buyer and get this person hooked. Then this person requests for your card and you’re excited. Now what if this person wants to know more about what you do? Bummer. Your business doesn’t have a portfolio.
What’s that please?
It is a more detailed form of elevator pitch and business card. The aim of a business portfolio is to engage more with your clients.
To explain all you can’t in a short elevator speech and to show all you can’t in a “3.5” x “2” business card.
You can include what your business represents, who runs it and also up-sell other services you offer.
What should should this portfolio look like/contain?
- About your business: You should include the values your business offers. You should take this space to talk about all the details you think your clients will need, but don’t overstretch this.
- It should be beautiful: I can’t stress this enough. You should find a good designer and pay for this, but a cheaper route will be to search for a cost effective one on the internet.
- You might need a domain to host this. You can either print this which is awesome or better still own a website.
Websites are cool because anyone and everyone can readily access this at anytime on any internet enabled device, which is way awesome.
OK… You got me hooked and I need a website, what do you advice?
- Get the right domain name. The easier it is to remember and align with your brand, the better.
- Know the right bandwidth to go for and where to get the theme that suits your business.
- Know how to work around updating your website when you need to.
The good thing is you may not need a blog, this way, you don’t worry about daily posting.
In summary, perfect your elevator speech, work on your business cards, and get a website. Not having any of these is like winking at your crush in the dark.
If you have any question, please feel free to ask using the comment space.
KSS BY: Sylva Elendu