Get Out…Again!

#2 of 5 Signs That You Need to Step Back and Regroup

I attended a webinar yesterday that goes along with my second sign. The topic was, “The Art and Science of the Elevator Pitch”, and the speaker, Donato Diorio suggested that one of the best ways to find out what people are being told about your company is to put yourself and your employees on the spot and record what you say about your business. I’m talking about more than just the elevator pitch here, but the same principle applies.

Sign #2 Reads: I Know What My Business Is…

If you are a solopreneur (I still haven’t decided whether I like that word.), recording yourself will definitely come in handy. It’s kind of hard to be your own mystery shopper, but the idea is to be your best self every time, so just record and practice…and practice and record. Once you’re happy with the recording, try your spiel on a couple of real people and see what they think.

For everybody else: Shop your own business.

Record your employees. Find out what people see (or are told) when they contact your business. I’m not suggesting that you put up hidden cameras. I’m thinking more along the lines of:

  1. Have a meeting, record (with their knowledge, but not with advance notice) employees describing your product or service as they would to potential clients.
  2. Make sure everybody is on the same page. They don’t have to use the same “script” (unless that’s your business model), but they all need to be giving the same information.
  3. Make sure everybody knows, or knows where to find, the information about your company that clients or potential customers might ask.
  4. Send in a mystery shopper. Once you’ve given your people sufficient training, send in a friend, colleague, or professional mystery shopper to find out if they’re practicing what you preached. (Check yourself, too; you’re not immune to flubbing your lines.)

Check yourself before you…

When you’re meeting a potential client for the first time (and everyone you meet is a potential client), the only thing they know about your business is what you tell them. If you don’t sound like you know what your business is, they probably won’t either. Actually, it’s probably worse when someone you meet is able to do a better job of explaining your business than you have. So what you’re saying is that you…

Don’t just record the people…

If you have an office or a storefront that clients visit, walk in and look around like you’ve never seen the place before. Walk around with a video camera so that you record what is, and not what you see. Do your floorplan, furnishings, and decor create the atmosphere you’re trying to convey? Do your shelves look well-stocked…or over-cluttered? Would the client or customer you’re most interested in pleasing be comfortable in your establishment? Are you? Don’t forget, this is a place where you need to be at your best. If you’re not comfortable in your surroundings, well, that’s hard to fake.

Pay attention to the signs…

I don’t really think I need to explain why it’s important that you become expert at explaining your business. I don’t even think I need to tell you why you should make sure that everyone affiliated with your business needs to be explaining your business the same way. That’s just logic. You should record yourself and do a mystery shopping routine on your business to get a better idea of what your client/customer sees in you in terms of product, service, and expertise.