Position: Noun. High standing, important status.
“Your perceived position predicts your profits” Steve Brossman 2011
Let me begin with positioning at its most simple and day-to-day level.
Picture this: when you are in a group of people, perhaps at a networking event and the general question is asked, “What do you do?” how many times do you hear most people answer, “I am a/an Insurance Agent, Accountant, Broker, Plumber etc.” Basically, they announce what their profession or category is, NOT what they do or, even how they help people, which is what they really do.
If you are a business do you say, “We are an I.T. firm, an xyz supplier or abc company?”… titling yourself like many others in your category?
The person hearing that title automatically has a preconceived concept of what you do. This is generally determined by previous experience or public perception. You are automatically put in a box with all the others.
How To Stand Out
How do you expect to stand out if you call yourself the same as everyone else in that category?
Just the other night I was at a meeting with a group of business people and after meeting one businessman dressed smart, I of course eventually asked, “What do you do?”
I ask that typical question for two reasons.
- To see how they answer it, and of course
- To find out what they do.
Well as it turned out he fell right into the trap and just said, “I’m in real estate.”
I immediately thought ‘not another damn agent wanting to seek property listings or sell me a property!’
To tell you the truth, I almost walked off. I didn’t want to spend the next ten minutes locked in conversation with a sleazy salesman. I had immediately put him in a boring cardboard box, which I was very reluctant to open.
I did give in and asked, “What part of real estate are you in?”
He said, “I have a boutique agency here on the Coast but, what I really do is specialize in helping people buy property overseas.” Well that certainly got my attention. “Tell me more,” was my immediate reply.
After a brief discussion, I suggested that in future he introduce himself as ‘An International Property Investment Specialist’.
(Note: see how this Positioning is Distinctive , Noticeable and Attractive to those who want to .
It had an immediate impact on the conversations that he had that night and led to several prospects where he said that he normally would be lucky to get just one.
There is no sense putting very exciting contents in a plain cardboard box in a sea of other brown cardboard boxes hoping that people will open your box, and not others that look the same. Our market is time-poor and people have no desire to spend time opening boxes, or choosing between a sea of sameness, just to talk to you.
Don’t forget your Positioning is everything you do or say that communicates who you are and what you do visually or verbally to the public.
Your Introduction or 15-Second Elevator Pitch is to “INTRIGUE, NOT INFORM.”
Firstly, most people have got it all wrong and that’s why many people are struggling. They try to tell as much about themselves in 15 seconds so people can make an informed decision on FACTS.
Instead you should be asking yourself, what is my engagement factor? How can I evoke an emotional, interactive and engaging conversation with my ideal client?
Your goal in introducing yourself is to have the person or people say, “Wow, how do you do that?” or “That’s interesting, tell me more!”
Here’s another quick example before I jump into some training for you. If you are like most people, insurance brokers are not people you would rush to have a conversation with.
I had a client who suffered from people not wanting to talk to him. He would get up at typical business networking events and announce. “Hi, my name is … and I’m an Insurance Broker.” It sounded almost like an introduction at Alcoholics Anonymous.
When we had a discussion at one of our Bootcamps, we uncovered (as per the last chapter Purpose), that his real passion was to help protect people’s lifestyle when ‘events’ happens. He mentioned that too many people were either not insured or poorly insured and their lifestyle is avoidably ruined.
Using a process that I have developed, we repositioned him as a ‘Lifestyle Protection Specialist,’ which fits his true Passion, Skills and Value that he provides people.
Notice this is an outcome based title more than just his occupation or category.
This change has had the desired effect on his business and how he communicates the value he provides people. Plus, the immediate response when he introduces himself now as a Lifestyle Protection Specialist is, “How do you do that? Tell me more.”
Creating Your Positioning DNA
Distinctive: Adj. “To stand out in a similar field and to have a special quality.”
It is no longer good enough to just be different. You could easily be different and worse. Being Unique means, you are one of a kind. Being DISTINCTIVE, means you are special and better. If you are looking to attract higher level clients you need to be also positioned at a higher level.
A “man of distinction” is perceived to be that one level better.
Therefore, your Positioning DNA needs to highlight your particular uniqueness that make you not only Stand Out but, also Stand Above”
Noticeable: “Worthy or deserving of attention.”
Your Positioning needs to be crafted so that it contains statements that are worthy of attention and are unique enough to stand out and be noticed.
Quite often I like to include words in a positioning title that don’t normally go together or aren’t regularly used in that profession.
That creates a pattern interrupt and people can’t help themselves but be intrigued.
Attractive: “having the quality to attract.”
Most importantly you must be attractive to your target market. The easiest way to achieve that is to have an outcome based title, not an occupation or category based title.
Below are some very simple examples of clients who we have worked with. Notice the change from occupation to outcome based titles.
|From (JOB)||To Magnetic Positioning|
|Mortgage Broker||Property Portfolio Strategist|
|Podiatrist||SEQ Leading Functional Podiatrist|
|Australia’s leading natural and traditional Pharmacist|
|Yoga Instructor, Chiropractor,|
|Australia’s leading structural and movement therapist|
|Business Coach||Business results catalyst|
|Spiritual Healer with no idea||Abundance Breakthrough Specialist|
|Spiritual Princess||Creator of the Value, Vision and Voice|
program for women
|Insurance Broker||Lifestyle Protection Specialist|
|Videographer||Video Profit Strategist|
|Trade Marks “person”||Growth Protection Strategist GPS|
Your Positioning Is Not Just a Catchy Title
Positioning Rule 1: Have an outcome based title not an occupation based title.
When you look at the title transitions above, they all came from who they were and what they were already doing that was different in their marketplace.
It wasn’t a matter of coming up with a corny and catchy title of World’s best, Expert in, No. 1 etc. the positioning title had to be an outcome based representation of the results that their clients were looking for.