Broadening your customers’ perceptions of your business

Missed opportunities

Imagine how disappointed you’d feel if you found your client had engaged a different supplier because they didn’t know that you also offered that service.

If you have a broad range of services it can be a danger that you are only known for a tiny percentage of what you can actually deliver.

If you become pigeon-holed and known only for the current services you are providing, you are likely to be missing out on a massive opportunity to introduce your other equally valuable services.

This problem generally arises when an organisation is large and the business is complex. It can be difficult to describe the broad spectrum of your offering. Your message needs to be clearly conveyed in a manner that is easily understood and remembered.

Clarity is required

Firstly, it is important to be clear about what you do, how you help your clients, the benefits you bring and why your company is the best for the job. A series of short, well thought through statements on each of these factors should be available to all members of staff.

Understanding this must be the aim for everyone within the organisation, especially those who interact with customers.

Internal communication is vital, especially when businesses work in silos. Coming together to share, swap and celebrate successes is an effective way for each department to understand how the others are helping their clients.

This understanding of the business needs to be clearly articulated at pitches, presentations and client account meetings. The more memorable the presentation the more likely it is to be understood and recalled at a later date when further services are required.

Make whole brain presentations

Understanding the different ways that the left and right hemispheres of the brain process information enables us to create more memorable presentations.

The ‘left’ side of the brain is where we analyse facts and figures; make logical decisions and rationalise thoughts.

The ‘right’ side of the brain is like tapping into your audience’s own cinema screen in their heads, making them visualise and feel something. Even people who have to present a lot of facts and figures use visual thinking techniques to make their communication more palatable.

The really important fact is that the left hemisphere is responsible for only 10% of recall, whereas the right is responsible for 90% of what we remember. Therefore, to be remembered for a wide range of services or to explain the complexities of your business, the use of visual aids and pictorial words will be much more effective.

Using visual aids

You will have heard the expression ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. It’s easier to explain what your business does quickly and succinctly when it’s done with images, diagrams and models. It’s more memorable and compelling.

Being prepared, no matter what the type of meeting, is the key to success. When preparing the visuals, the media should be chosen in relation to the size of meeting. This will be determined by the number of people i.e. an iPad with a few slides would be perfect for two or three people. A placemat or factsheet with diagrams are also useful tools. For a larger group, a PowerPoint presentation is likely to be more appropriate. This could also include video to engage the auditory senses.

Using picture words

Studies of effective leaders and charismatic communicators show that they use more picture words and imagery in their language than other people do. If you think about a recent speech or presentation you attended, you may struggle to remember the detail, but you won’t forget how it made you FEEL.

Describing the services you offer in a generic manner and without context is not going to make the lasting impression you desire. By using success stories, case studies and testimonials that are relevant and to the point you will cut through the complexities, making it infinitely easier for your audience to quickly grasp the various offerings you have.

Introducing your examples with ‘Picture this…’ or ‘Imagine…’ or ‘It’s a bit like…’ will engage the audience’s ‘right’ brain side and encourage thinking in pictures about what you have to say.

Be remembered for the breadth of services you offer and how you help your clients.  Being crystal clear about your business and presenting this in the context of relevant examples; using visual aids and descriptive language will help you to make a memorable and compelling impression.

You won’t just be remembered for the service you currently deliver today, but the breadth of what you can offer in the future.