Be Memorable (Issue 709)

In which we are reminded… STAND OUT SOMEHOW.

I can’t remember a thing.

Well, that’s not quite right. I can remember some things.

I’ve been to three 2-day to 3-day conferences in the last three weeks. During that time, I have sat through 30 presentations ranging in length from 15 minutes to an hour. I can’t remember all of the presentations that I’ve seen without looking at conference agendas and, even then, at the end of the third week, I can’t remember what some of the presentations were about. Actually, I can’t remember what MANY of them were about.

I can remember SOME of them. But I don’t remember what you would probably think I would remember. I remember, “She’s the one with the audio clip from a senior executive who hosed all over unprepared sales people.” Or: “He’s the one who spoke in an English accent.” Or “She’s the one who gave me that great quote.”

Without prompting, without looking at the agendas for the conferences, I can remember four, maybe six, of the presentations I’ve seen.

Oh, yes, and the same would be true of my conversations during those conferences. Without prompting, I can probably remember 20% of them. I have people’s business cards… I can remember the conversations when I look at the cards. Usually….. Not always….

I can remember more about the food I ate at the conferences than I can about the presentations and conversations.

Are you surprised? Do you feel a bit sick?

We should! Because this is the experience that our clients and prospects have every time they run a search for vendors to help them with a particular challenge. They listen to a series of presentations, they read a series of emails, and they don’t remember peanuts about most of them. Really! They don’t remember! Sure, they can bring it back if they look at their notes, but who among us really goes back to look at their notes?

Oh, yes, if you are in corporate procurement then you have a process and you could do an evaluation form…

Sure that works. However, most of the research indicates that people make decisions emotionally, not based on rational evaluation processes.

(Hint: they jigger the evaluation processes to lead to the emotional conclusion they’ve already drawn.)

To stand out in a beauty contest of 5 or 10 or 20 potential vendors, we have to strive to do something memorable, something catchy, every time we present.

It doesn’t have to be about the content or the offer or anything to do with our businesses. It could be… But it doesn’t have to be.

It could be how we dressed. It could be how we sounded. It could be one particular slide. It could be a video we showed.

No magic formula although “people are visual” is a really good thing to keep in mind. “People like video” is another thing to keep in mind. “People are on social media” is another REALLY IMPORTANT thing to keep in mind.

It’s important to be “memorable” in some specific way in order for the people to whom we are selling to recall and access the ideas we presented. Without an access point, in other words, without a door knob to the vault, we are lost in a sea of content.

So, yes, it’s important to be relevant. It’s important to have a good offer. But to be considered for those things, we first have to be memorable.


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