Imagine you have a really brilliant idea and your customer says that he’s going to clear his calendar tomorrow so you can pitch it to him – and you’ll have all the time you need.
Or picture going to your boss’s office, uninvited, to discuss a great client opportunity that just came up. The boss looks up at you and says “Come on in. We’ll spend a couple of hours brainstorming an approach.”
Never happens, right? The world we live in is measured in 140-character tweets and 30-second soundbites. Most likely, you’re going to have a minute or two walking down a hallway with your customer, and you’ll need to convince your boss via email that you should pursue that great client opportunity.
How can you communicate effectively amidst the frantic pace of today’s business world?
Crafting Your Message: The Basics
When you’re ready to craft your own messages, keep these three basic principles in mind:
Have a single clear cut objective. Know what you want to accomplish with this communication. What’s your goal, your purpose, your destination? Think about what you want your audience to know, believe, or do – and then make sure that’s what comes through in your message. Be simple and concrete.
Know your audience and what they want. Target the go-to person — I call him the “get-er done” guy — who can get you to your destination. And know what that person is going to want from you, so you can talk about what’s in it for them and why they might want to act on your message.
Develop a well-formulated approach. My suggestion is to have a simple and direct sentence that’s going to keep you on track. Don’t get all flowery. But do tease before you tell. That means you talk about the possibilities — for example, what the world might look like if you do this, or what the project might look like if you do this — and then you tell them how to do it. The idea behind this “tease, and then tell” approach is to first get your audience excited about something so they’re moved to take action.