Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Power of Sound Bites

If you want to master the art of persuasion, you must master the art of the sound bite. Politicians do it. Advertisers do it. Motivational speakers do it. They understand to boil down their ideas into catchy phrases and use them as a form of shorthand to catch and keep their audiences’ attention. Speak all you want, but most of what you say will be forgotten. To say something that will be remembered and that will influence, find a way to reduce it to a sound bite. Think about the printed ads, television commercials and speeches that have stuck with you. I bet what you remember are the catch phrases. They hook you and reel you in.

So when you are pursuing clients and convincing them to go with you instead of the competition, you need to think through how you can serve their needs. How your company is different. Why it serves their best interest to go with you. Write down the answers to all these questions. Then think about reducing your answers to several themes - central ideas reflecting why prospective clients need you. Once you do this, reduce those themes to sounds bites - one or more catch phrases that reflect the essence of your company and its ideals - phrases that resonate and that will stick in the minds of your audience. Just a few words - the right ones - can make the difference between pitching and selling - between talking and closing.

Where do you come up with sound bites? They are all around you. They are in the articles you read, they are in the lyrics you listen to and they are in the movies and television shows you watch. Train yourself to look out for them and start incorporating them into your selling. You will discover that with them, your power of persuasion will improve significantly.

1 comment:

Don Blankenship said...

An argument is a set of propositions. One or more of the propositions in the set are called premises. One proposition in the set is call the conclusion. If the premises are true, then we have reasons for accepting the truth of the conclusion.
Don Blankenship