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

Five Ways To Be Amazing At Work

StarIn every company, there are a few employees who stand out. They’re the ones who always finish first, get recognized for their accomplishments and eventually make their way up the ranks. Invariably, they know how to play the political game. But there are other qualities that world-class performers have in common. Here’s how you can be one of them.

1. Be obsessed with productivity. The best employees tend to work in jobs and businesses they love. As a result, thoughts of how to be more successful and productive rarely leave their mind. In fact, the great ones have to force themselves into non-work activities just to give their mind a chance to rest and recover.

2. Solve problems. Problem solving is the cornerstone of commerce. Average employees tend to spend more time jockeying for position to gain favor from their superiors than they do solving problems. Great ones are not interested in management kudos; they are interested in results. World-class managers and employees solve problems quickly and move on to solving bigger, more complex problems, whether individually or as part of a team.

3. Take risks. The most common commodity in corporate America is the sales manager who craves the approval and friendship of his sales team. The second most common commodity is the sales manager who rules her team with an iron fist, refusing to consider feedback or input from the field.

World-class leaders are neither dictators nor micromanagers. Instead, they have two primary objectives: increase revenues and bring out the best in the people they lead. That might mean being unpopular and pushing people beyond their comfort zones, or being there for a team member who has hit rock bottom. These leaders can adapt to any situation. The great ones never play it safe when it comes to leading their teams through change, knowing their job is to serve as a guide and coach.

4. Have a strong work ethic. Amateurs work just hard enough to escape being fired. They expect to be compensated for every little thing they do – if they can be over-compensated, even better.

The pros have exactly the opposite mindset. They understand that the marketplace will richly reward a world-class work ethic with an endless stream of opportunities. This work ethic is the reason so many immigrants come to the free world and become millionaires. They’re so grateful for the opportunity to work hard that no one can convince them to slow down.

5. Find a coach. Corporate America and entrepreneurs are starting to catch on to something that athletes have always known: if you want to maximize your potential in anything, hire a coach. Coaching is to performance what leadership is to an organization. Since human beings are primarily emotional creatures, competent coaches are experts in stoking the fires that burn within. The more coachable and open-minded your employees, the better they’ll perform.

Trouble is, ego can get in the way. The best employees are the most open to world-class coaching. They don’t care about ego satisfaction when it comes to improving their results; all they’re looking for is an edge, no matter how slight. When two companies or opponents go head-to-head, many times the only thing that favors the winner is a slight edge in thinking, strategy and technique.


Eight Ways to Turn Sales Reps into Creative Thinkers

Creative ThinkingSuccess in sales depends on how well you differentiate yourself and your product. That requires creativity. Average salespeople may be a dime a dozen, but truly original, creative thinkers are harder to find. Customers want to work with a salesperson who can generate ideas to set them apart from and ahead of their competition. Use these sales management tips to boost your team’s creativity and your bottom line.
1. Encourage daily improvement. Ask your team to concentrate on improving just one selling skill each day. At the end of the day, allow salespeople to exchange ideas on what they did differently that day and what effect it had. Open the floor for suggestions on improving and expanding each idea.
2. Post a brainstorming board. Encourage your team to generate solutions to a specific problem. On a whiteboard, write a common sales theme or problem. To help solve your team’s actual selling problems, take suggestions and give them a chance to come up with the problem.
3. Hold an idea lottery. Each month, use a roll of numbered tickets to hold an idea lottery. Solicit original ideas from your team, and reward the contributor of each new idea with a ticket. At the end of the month, fill a bowl with pieces of paper with numbers corresponding to the ticket numbers. Share the contributed ideas with your team, then draw a number from the bowl. The salesperson whose ticket number matches the number drawn wins a prize. Good prizes include dinner for two at a nice restaurant, movie tickets (throw in money for popcorn and drinks) or a gift certificate.
4. Display personal creativity symbols. Each of your salespeople has a unique perspective. Encourage them to express their individuality by having them display items on their desks that represent their views of creativity in selling. A crystal ball, for example, might represent a view toward future sales, or a bottle of Heinz ketchup could symbolize a personal goal of generating 57 new selling ideas.
5. Brainstorm over burgers. Group brainstorming sessions allow your salespeople to bounce ideas off one another. Each week, have your salespeople meet for lunch in groups of four or five. Ask each person to read and share from an article, report, or book chapter on creativity and relate it to how it can help sales. When you can, invite an innovative businessperson to join you and provide an outside perspective.
6. Keep a bright ideas notebook. To make your team’s ideas pay off, you have to put them to use. Help ensure that those ideas don’t go to waste by encouraging your salespeople to record their ideas in a notebook. Each day, have your team write down three ideas for improving sales, and at the end of each month, collect the notebooks and categorize the ideas for further discussion.
7. Start a creative thinker’s hall of fame. If your team isn’t used to thinking creatively, you may need to provide an incentive to motivate a change in their thought patterns. Designate a wall in your department as a “Hall of Fame” for posting photos of salespeople whose ideas are implemented. Accompany each photo with a paragraph about the salesperson, the idea that was contributed and its impact on the company.
8. Consider how things can be done instead of how they can’t. Many of mankind’s greatest inventions were believed to be impossible until some innovator found a way to make them work. Ask your salespeople to think of three sales-related goals or tasks they think are impossible (such as getting an appointment with a tough prospect or setting a new sales record). Then have them think of three ways to accomplish each “impossible” task.
Progress doesn’t come from following the same old routines over and over – it’s a result of innovation and imagination. The sales team that wants to sell more effectively first needs to think more effectively, which means breaking out of rigid and traditional thought patterns. By taking proactive steps to manage the efforts of your sales team to think more creatively, you’re helping them take advantage of their highest potential.
– Michael Michalko