Stephen Melanson, from Melanson Consulting, gave a great presentation on Verbal Branding and the Networking for NonProfits Fun Night Out on May 6, 2010. This is part 4 of his presentation. As I listened to the presentation I could hear myself making this exact error that Stephen describes.
A transcript follows the video:
Here is something that I want to make sure you also remember. I hope you remember some of these things forever, because they’re true. I know that they’re true, you can fight with me all you want. Describing is not branding. Everybody describes, describes, describes what they do and it’s feels like your doing your very best job and it might be so that you are doing your worst. Describing is not branding, you need to position versus the competition describing as you get down into the weeds of everything you do and offer. It feels good, it feels like you are doing a good job. Hey I was so on my game today now I’m going to Starbucks and taking the rest of the day off. Well actually you lost the deal and you can’t believe they didn’t call you back. It’s because you described everything in detail rather than position versus the competition to be different and better. The more you describe, the more you sound like the competition. See that guy in the back? That’s you. We’re going to marginalize the competition.
What I’m going to show you right now, I get as much or more feedback about this than anything I ever teach anybody. How do you actually marginalize the competition and have it be real? This is how, that big guy in the back is you, that little guy in the front is your competition. We don’t want to be all that mean to them but we sort of want the attention that they get we want it for ourselves. We want to get that money, sponsorship, identity, all the things. Here’s my Pyramid again but if you notice, I’ve left the tip where the positioning goes outside of what I’ve highlighted. I call this the ninety five percent rule. Ninety five percent, listen to this, think about this, ninety five percent of what everybody does is ninety five percent the same as their competition, and that’s conservative.
I call it the “of course” category. People use this immediately after I teach it to them, even before their positioning is developed. They start using this anyways, and it works. Hey do you do X Y and Z something that’s down at the lower level? Of course we do. Of course we do. Everybody that does our kind of work does that. Do I train salespeople? Of course I do. That’s not my best offer to you. Whatever is down the lower level you can say and legitimately so. When asked “Do you do it?” “of course”, and that’s all our competitions offering you, well you know what that’s not that great. Does that make sense to you guys? Of course we do it. You can marginalize, if not eliminate your competition by using this of course category because this ninety five percent rule is real, it is true, it is indisputable. See I don’t always say things exactly right even though I do verbal branding. But if they want what you’ve offered them at the tip of the pyramid, you’re the guys to work with. Everyone else is the same, you’re different.