Mrs. Erhardt’s Admonition (Issue 956)

In which we are reminded to help our clients memorize and repeat our offer.

When I was in tenth grade, I consistently misspelled the word, “recommend”. I would spell it “reccommend”. [Two “c’s” in case you missed it.] Over and over and over again when she marked my papers, my English teacher, Mrs. Earhart, patiently would circle the word and insert the correct spelling.

And, then, and I’ll never forget this: It was a warm, humid, spring day. Our high school was not air conditioned, so the classroom air hung still and we were all a little dewy. She was grading papers, sitting behind her dark wood desk, dead center in the front of the room and I think she had just HAD it with me on spelling. She peered out at the class, tilted her head down to look over the top of her half glasses, and said, “Nick…” in a voice every person in the room could hear. I looked up. “Nick, there are NO words… in the English language… that begin with the letters… R_E_C_C.”

I have not misspelled “recommend” for 40 years. I couldn’t memorize the spelling; I easily memorized Mrs. Erhardt’s admonition.

Speaking of easily memorized, one of the keys to our business flow from clients and prospects is that WE must be as easily memorized. Our personal marketing is an exercise in memorization. We must describe and repeat “what we do” in a short declaration that clients and prospects can recall and share with others. A few words that could fit on a bumper sticker. Otherwise they will forget it in three seconds. They don’t choose or refer the best product, service or person; they choose the one they can remember.

And, in case the occasion ever arise: I train bankers to sell to small businesses.

Nick Miller trains bankers to sell to small businesses. He is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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