Three phases of business messaging

by Mike McQuillan

Three phases of business messaging

By Mike McQuillan

When you take the stage to promote a product or service, how much should you say about your business?

Nothing! Long before you let the audience in on your dirty little secret that you are promoting a business, you owe them value. Your business messaging comes in three phases. First, you speak to the universe. The ethos behind the work that you do, and your back story as to what brought you from birth, through life's adventures, and onto the stage.

In a one-on-one setting, you speak more about your business. After the sale, you can blind them with science. Tell them all about how the products and the services work. At this point you have earned it.

Phase 1: Have fun

The message that you put out to the universe, especially from a stage where you are the featured presenter, should have very little to do with your product. You want to show the audience that you are bigger than your product. The stage is a place to show your empathy for the audience, and not how you make your money. Show the need for your product, not the features and benefits of it.

Somewhere along the line, you suggest to your audience you are in the business of solving the problems that you present. Let them know that you are available for further consultation. Build a bridge from your group keynote presentation to a one-on-one meeting, then let them cross that bridge.

So many people roll out the sales pitch on stage. Suddenly an informative and inspirational speech becomes an infomercial. I know somebody with an awesome fitness product and high credentials in sports and academia. Why is she still a struggling startup after so many years?

Whenever she speaks, she goes straight to the features and benefits. She thinks that “sell” is a four-letter word. Instead of saving the sales pitch for the right time, she takes to the stage like Steve Jobs rolling out the iPhone.

Save the pitch for the sales call. Savor the moment and share the essence of who you are and what you do before even alluding to a product for sale.

Phase 2: What I can do for you

In the consultation, you assess client needs, identify a problem, then present features and benefits in order to meet those needs and solve their problems. Why does that look so easy when summed up in one sentence?

Even if they don't sign a deal with you, they need to know the value of what you do, and what it looks like to work with you. The one-on-one presentation is every bit a public speaking performance as the message from the stage.

Can you give a sales pitch as conversationally as you describe the weather? Here's a tip: When you write your speech, remove anything that describes the features and benefits of your product and put it into conversation form. That is how you sell without pitching. Or is it the other way around? Either way, speaking is more important than selling.

Phase 3: Finally free!

Once you make the deal and sign the contract, then you can blind them with science. Show them the algorithms, analytics, and actuarial tables. Let the self-indulgence fly! The more you talk about how your product or service works, the more value you provide.

Too many speakers go straight to the product details when speaking from the stage. Techies and finanical advisors are the worst. They care more about the sim card or the difference between whole life and term life than they care about the people who hear the message. The details are a baby's blanket to a speaker who does not want to get personal. You have to earn their trust and their business, then you can showcase what you know.

Until the deal is signed, keep your calculator in your pants. 

What is your universal message?

The difference between running a business and simply selling stuff is your messaging. Can you tell people who you are, what you do, and why you do it? The ethos that drives your business and your passion for communicating that belief system is the most powerful and valuable entity you have. What have you invested in that message?

Let's meet for a 30 minute complimentary conversation to talk about your business messaging. The link is in the contact form above.

Mike McQuillan

About the author

Mike McQuillan, aka the Fit Presenter, coaches fitness industry professionals to give top-quality presentations, seminars, and courses. His day job is an English teacher in Lima, Peru.

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  1. This reminds of the saying 'they don't care how much you know until they know how much you care'.

    And it's true.

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