I have a friend who calls himself an “Optical Enhancement Specialist” for his business. His name is Toby Franzen, owner of 20/20 Vu, LLC. He cleans windows better than anyone else in his market area. He could also describe what he does by saying he improves storefront traffic for business owners. He could also say he boosts employee morale (letting more light in to give the team members a lighter, cleaner environment to work in). I don’t think he’d be stretching the truth at all to say any of these when someone asks him what he does for a living. In each phrase or statement there’s a legitimate way to show how Toby adds value to a business, home or storefront.
You may be wondering why he would choose to give an indirect answer to a simple question. The answer itself is simple. If he just answers by saying he cleans windows, the person he’s talking to immediately gets a picture in their mind. Now, all of us are different so we might all have a different picture in our mind of what Toby does. Believe it or not, many of us would have a picture that isn’t even close to what he does. Either way, the conversation is finished when he says he’s a window cleaner. Our curiosity is satisfied when we get that mental picture.
That’s exactly the problem. As a business owner, Toby now doesn’t have the opportunity to tell more about what he can do to make life better for the person he’s talking to. But if he starts with an indirect answer and shows how he helps people or businesses, he’s just opened the door and peaked our curiosity. “I’m an optical enhancement specialist.” “Oh, really, what exactly is an optical enhancement specialist?” “Well, so many people spend tons of time trying to keep their windows clean but they end up frustrated when they get streaks or the window is dirty again within days. I use advanced techniques to get the windows clean the first time and enhance the view so you can see things clearly.”
See how that works?
Better yet, let’s see what happens if he answers with a question: “What do you do?” “Well, have you ever tried cleaning your windows and gotten frustrated because no matter how hard you work, you end up with streaks?” “Oh, yeah I know what you mean. I hate that!” “Well I eliminate the stress by taking on that burden for you and eliminate the streaks & dirt through advanced cleaning techniques. In fact, I guarantee a perfect shine every time so you can look through the window, not at the streaks on the window.” Through this dialogue Toby has just shown the person that they have a need, then he shows them how he fills the need. He might have just picked up a new customer, simply because he answered a question with a question.
So what do you do? Leave a comment and share how you describe your business and how you add value. Be sure to leave a link to your website.