Have you ever felt pressured to convey your message quickly? Maybe as you walk into a coffee shop, an old friend is walking out. You stop for a couple of minutes to chat before she heads out on her way. During the chat, she asks you what you do for a living or what’s new these days. Depending on the circumstance, it may be necessary to make whatever you are saying as brief as possible. If you find yourself in such a situation, the following tips might help you out.
- Start with the solution first. Since you don’t have time for a whole back story, you have to spark interest right away. By introducing the solution from the get-go, you’re capturing attention so that even if you have to leave out some details you deem important, the person will want to know more and follow through, perhaps at a later date. For example, your friend asks what you’re doing these days. As a new consultant for a nail wrap company, your response could be something like this: “You know how I always complain that I never have time or money for a manicure? Well I started using these cool nail wraps! I loved them so much, that I started selling them.” Your very first sentence presents a solution to a problem. This is especially effective when you know your audience has the same problem as well. Even if the rest of the conversation is rushed, the next time that person is thinking about doing their nails, she’ll remember your solution and will be more likely to either give you a call or respond with action to your follow-up.
- Make it personal. This definitely requires either some prior knowledge about the person to whom you’re speaking or one or two smart questions to find out more about the person in order to customize your message. In the example above, the nail wrap consultant could mention that because her friend is home with her newborn baby every day, it’s understandable that getting to the manicurist can be challenging. She has then created her opening to briefly describe the product. If you don’t have that kind of personal information right away, have a couple of questions prepared that you would ask someone so your message can be more personal.
- Give concrete, factual examples. Speaking in general terms comes off vague, generic, and irrelevant. Instead of saying, “These nail wraps are easy and affordable,” you could say, “A $15 sheet gives me 3 manicures that each last two weeks.” The latter gives specific information in the same amount of time as the former. Furthermore, it has more meaning, which will make it more memorable for the other person. Again, concrete examples should be prepared ahead of time for you to give when needed.
- Don’t repeat yourself. Many people do this when they are nervous or anxious. Use other methods of emphasis besides repetition, which causes the other person to tune out. A good idea would be to record yourself in a hypothetical conversation in which you are trying to get to your point quickly. Make note of any repetition, and adjust accordingly. Practice often so you are always prepared.
Much of what you do as a direct seller requires quick thinking and strong communication skills. Our suggestions in this post should help you improve both of those things.
What would you add to our list? Please share your ideas below!