Sunday, April 1, 2007

Brand you!

What 3 things will your client remember you for?

What 3 things do you want your client to remember you for?

If you can’t answer these questions for yourself, you can’t expect your clients to answer it either. These 3 things will not only anchor you and your business in the client’s mind as someone they want to do business with, but also establish a solid foundation for them to refer you to their clients, friends and family.

The world and our lives are full of brands, we deal with brands every day and your brand is no different, whether it’s you or your business – it stands for something (whether you have designed this intentionally or not).

Reflect on businesses you respect. What are their attributes that stick in your mind? Why would you refer them to people you know?

Spend a few minutes thinking about what attributes you would like your clients to mention when describing their experience to others, but also think about what your clients are currently saying.

Are they talking about:
· Added value
· Ambitious
· Can-do attitude
· Caring
· Clear
· Efficient
· Fast
· Friendly
· Good value
· Great service
· Helpful
· Integrity
· Knowledge
· Personal service
· Positive attitude
· Professionalism
· Prompt
· Reliability
· Respect
· Responsiveness
· Stable
· Trustworthy

Hopefully it’s not:
· Average
· Boring
· Busy
· Expensive
· Moody
· Rude
· Sloppy
· Time wasting
· Unhelpful
· Unreliable
· Untrustworthy

You will be able to come up with more! There’s no right or wrong answer (although most people I know would want the words in the top list used more often) and you might find different clients appreciate different attributes.

If you’re having difficulty working out the 3 things that stand out, just ask people who know you and know your business. Although many people can be reluctant to provide honest, negative feedback, they will provide you with an external perspective on your positive attributes. You can always ask “Is there anything I can do better?” which will help you improve and allow them to provide constructive feedback (remember not to argue with any points they raise – it’s their perception and for them, their reality).

So, when you go to your next appointment, ask yourself what are the 3 things you want your client or prospect to feel or believe after the meeting. You may even want to build this into your discussion. For instance “Hi, I’m Joe from ACME Services, we provide our clients with personal, prompt and professional service”.

Having these 3 attributes top of mind will also help you with your “elevator speech” (a short introduction that explains what you do and why someone would do business with you) and lead to new business opportunities.

I encourage you to manage and value your brand like the top brands in the market place that spend millions on creating an image, ensuring that the choices you make and the behaviours you display are consistent with the image you want to create.

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