Three Little Words
This week we're going to do an exercise that will define your Three-Word Promo Identity. It's going to be fun, unless we end up with three silly words, like Wonky Water Wedgie. But I don't see that happening...
Coming from decades of sales management positions in the promotional products industry, I'm a big proponent of planning. You've got to make time each day and each week for prospecting activities and fueling sales growth and you must schedule these efforts and stick to that schedule or it simply won't happen. That means staganation and you do NOT want to live in that nation, believe me.
The more organized you are, the more successful you will be. Sometimes you will experience accidental success, but you can't count on good fortune ... you have to make it. The way to do so is to have a plan. Success is a destination—you'll need a good map to get to your destination on time and with your marbles fully intact.
At HALO, our map is literally that—a MAP—a Marketing Activity Planner. At the beginning of each year (or the end of the previous year—even better!) we encourage our salespeople to set up a one hour conference call with their dedicated marketing consultant to craft this MAP for the entire new year, laying out all of the sales tools they'll be utilizing, the e-blasts they'll be scheduling and the content of those blasts, the lists they'll be compiling for us to schedule the e-blasts from, the self-promos they'll be using and like that. We've proven that the Halo peeps who use our marketing tools and do the MAP will grow their annual business by nearly 20 percent—just by being organized and using proven tools.
It's very empowering to have a destination and map to get you there ... but before you can figure out where you are going, you've got to know WHERE YOU'VE BEEN. And by that, I mean, you must know who you are, what you bring to the table and how to quickly and effectively communicate this to clients and prospects. What makes you different and memorable? What is your personal brand?
Not sure? Well, Uncle Ricky is here to help you.
Here's an exercise to help you define your brand. Clear your mind, take a deep breath and THINK. Think about what makes you unique. How would your clients describe the value you bring to them in ONE SENTENCE? How about in THREE WORDS? Or even ONE WORD?
It's not your "elevator speech" as my HALO senior VP of sales Dale Limes, MAS urges each and every one of you to have written out and memorized. It's not a 30-second commercial for you, glorious you ... it's a phrase of a few words—and THE FEWER THE BETTER—to define what makes you worth working with. It's your three-word promo identity.
I've worked for many years with the superlative Renee Domeier. Her field of promotional expertise is custom projects for medical device manufacturers. Renee's three-word promo I.D. is "Medical Marketing Authority." Do you see how that COMPLETELY DEFINES her and positions her not just as a "sales person" but as an AUTHORITY. Our clients NEED to work with authorities, not mere salespeople. Renee speaks their industry jargon, understands their unique challenges and—best of all—has designed specific custom promotional solutions that she can share which have increased the market share of her other clients in that industry. Wowsers. Big-time powerful stuff, all communicated in Three Little Words. A three-word promo identity.
Many of you haven't spent a decade or longer in a specialized market and may have trouble zoning in YOUR three little words as easily as Renee has. Of course, it wasn't really easy, it took her that decade or longer to authoritatively position herself as a Medical Marketing Authority. But if you don't have that specialized a focus, what do you say? Mug & Pen Purvayance? T-Shirts R Me? Logobobo Mojo Domo?
No, no, no. Remember, we're Bold, Different & Memorable. There are 50 T-shirt monkeys up and down the street and 500 of them in and around your state. You've GOT to separate from that pack, not blend into it. Don't focus on product unless your product is wildly or financially unique. The key is going to be the SERVICE you bring to the equation.
Think words like CREATIVE and TRUST and RELIABLE and SPEED and ACCURACY and COMMUNICATION and ... well, you get the picture. What three words come together in just the right combination to communicate the VALUE (ooo, another good one!) you offer to the marketing professionals you are looking to partner with. Ask the people around you what words THEY would use to describe you. Make a list of a few dozen, add your own and craft your Three-Word Promo Identity.
Then start to use it. Put it on your card or in your email signature. Incorporate it into how you define your professional existence. And then, when you know WHO YOU ARE and WHERE YOU ARE ... you can begin to plot a course for where you are going...
Let me hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. What is YOUR three-word promo Identity? I'll do a follow up article sharing the slices of brilliance you come up with! It'll be fun! Like going down a water slide, but without your suit riding up all wonky in a water-wedgie. Oh, crap. I ended up with Wonky Water Wedgie after all. I didn't see that coming.
Rick Greene, MAS, is the western regional vice president for Halo Branded Solutions, a past president of SAAC, the editor of The SAAC Times and the author of two comic fantasy novels entitled "Boofalo!" and "Shroom!" available at www.amazon.com. His Three-Word Promo Identity is Wonky Freepin' Smackle. (We know ... it needs work.) Don't you want to just smackle him upside his freepin' wonky? Wait ... maybe it is good. Very good.