The Secret to Selling Your Brand With One Sentence


You believe in the importance of your vision, but how do you get others to  stop and listen to you? There will be many instances when you don’t have a lot  of time to grab someone’s attention, be it a potential investor or a licensee. That’s why you need to be able to summarize the benefit of your  business idea in a single, powerful sentence — a sentence that is so direct and compelling,  it stops whoever reads or hears it dead in their tracks. A good one-line benefit  statement should make someone think: “I want to know more about that.”

I’ve learned that if I craft just the right sentence, it’s all I need to get  people to listen to my pitch, open my emails and answer my calls. I still remember the  day the iPod launched and Steve  Jobs called it “a thousand songs in your  pocket.” Wow. That’s captivating. He didn’t have to explain any further. We  wanted it already!

People don’t care about how something works.They want to know what it’s going  to do for them.

Newspapers, tabloids, and these days, Twitter have been making use of the headline for years. How often do you find yourself  on a webpage you never intended to visit, all because a headline was so  tempting, you had to click on it? That should give you an idea of what I’m  talking about. Creating excellent one-line benefit statements isn’t an easy  skill, but it’s an important one, because it can be used to explain your idea in  so many different kinds of situations in an attractive, successful way.

Sometimes, you only get one chance to make an impression. Cut through the  clutter to make it count! Here three ways to create an awesome one-line benefit  statement:

1. Make it emotional. Why should people care about what  you have to say? Grab them with something they can relate to. Benefits sell  ideas, not facts. What is your idea going to do for the consumer or the world?  Don’t be afraid to use emotion. People are motivated by their emotions more  often than they are motivated by reason. Emotion also evokes visual imagery —  if people can begin to see your idea, that’s a good thing. Some emotional words  include: “free”, “incredible” and “unbelievable.”

2. Keep it short. Like — really short. I’m talking no  more than 10 to 12 words, ideally less. Remember, you don’t have much time. If  your statement is too long, people may move on before they’ve even finished  reading or hearing it. Don’t be intimidated by using fewer words. This is a  really good exercise in general. Too often, I ask an inventor or entrepreneur to  tell me about his or her idea and I’m overwhelmed with a five-minute speech.  “What is he talking about again?” I find myself thinking. I’m not even sure.  Brevity forces clarity.

3. Use numbers. Numbers convey specificity. Look around  you. Headlines with numbers dominate our world. One has only to look at Buzzfeed to understand the power of numbers.

Here are some examples of one-line benefit statements my students and I have  used with great success in the past:

  • “The most versatile organization system available.”
  • “The store all, carry all, go anywhere  elevated pet feeder.”
  • “This label will increase space on your  packaging by 75 percent.”

Try out potential statements on everyone you know. Which one has the greatest  impact? Ask for feedback. Then, start using this line all over the place. When  someone asks: “So what is it you’re working on again?” you will have a great  answer! – Stephen Key

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