Friday, February 04, 2005

How to tell people what you do

Last week I attended a full-day seminar on “Customer-Centric Communications: How to talk so people listen.” The presenter was Michel Neray, a talented communicator/speaker/coach based in Toronto.

There was too much good stuff to blog about, but I was especially impressed by his approach to the age-old question of “positioning statements.” This is a huge business challenge: almost every business person has trouble coming up with a line or two that expresses exactly what he or she does.

Michel’s approach is simple. He focuses less on your introduction than on what you say next. His idea: don’t talk about what you do. Ask your prospect or customer about their problems. Your whole point is to be able to follow that by saying, “That’s what I do.”

Prospect: “So what do you do?
You: “Well, tell me, when you’re looking to hire good people, do you have any problem finding good candidates?”
Prospect: “Are you kidding? Do you have any idea how hard it is today to find people who are prepared to work? It takes way too much time and it’s driving me crazy.”
You: “Well, that’s what I do. I help employers find the quality employees they need, in much less time than they’re taking now…”

And you take it from there. It’s purposeful, it’s easy, it’s brilliant.

You can read Michel Neray’s free articles and other material at

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