When you meet someone, you have only a few seconds to get their attention and make a strong impression. The 10-Second Brag(TM) can do that for you. We were all taught that it is not polite to talk about ourselves; however, it is important to express clearly and concisely what you do for your customers. The Brag is a short, to-the-point statement of:
WHO you are,
WHAT you do,
WHO you do it for, and
HOW they benefit.
Most of us talk in feature language. We talk about our titles and experience, or the equipment we use, or the tasks we perform. Customers don’t care about any of that. They care about what’s in it for them. When you talk about what you do for your customers–the problems you solve, how you make their lives better–you are using benefit language.
Where, when and how can you use your Brag? Use it when you meet someone new, to introduce yourself at a networking meeting, while standing in line at the post office, when your mother asks what you do, on your business card, in brochures and ads, in press releases, on the telephone, when you talk to the press . . . any time you want to communicate your message in just a few words.
The Brag is your mission statement and you can use it to promote yourself, your business, or a specific product or service.
If you are looking for a job, think about how a Brag could help you make a good impression when going for an interview, or when networking and looking for job leads. Show employers how you can solve their problems, and you will get the job. A freelance writer who learned the technique said that he started getting more assignments when he used his Brag in proposal letters to editors.
Developing Your Brag
As you start thinking about how to communicate your message with a Brag, keep these two questions in mind:
Who is your audience?
What is their greatest need?
You can’t tell everything in the Brag, so don’t try to squeeze too many ideas in. The point is to get your most important message across. If you do that well, the people you want to do business with will ask for more.
Use strong, active words. Hone your Brag until you get the most information into the fewest words. Write it down, and practice, practice, practice. Stand in front of the mirror, and practice saying your Brag as if you were shaking hands with someone and introducing yourself. You should know your Brag so well that if someone were to nudge you awake in the middle of the night and ask what you do, you would respond with your Brag!
Have fun with your Brag. Change it now and then to keep it fresh. (You should never sound as though you are reading it, or rattling off something you memorized but don’t mean.)
The Brag makes you stand out, because most people just wing it when they are asked anything about themselves. Your Brag makes you prepared.
Your Brags will change over time. You will add new products or markets, or your customers’ needs will change. I worked with the owners of a sporting goods store, and their Brags change seasonally, as their customers shift their focus to fitness equipment, baseball, soccer, tennis, hunting, and other sports.
Also, teach the Brag to your family and friends. They won’t be as proficient as you. But if they know more about what you do, they will be in a better position to refer others to you.
Not sure what you should say in your Brag? Remember to keep your Brag benefit-oriented. For example, a photographer told me that she says that she “preserves your wedding memories for a lifetime.” Isn’t that much more powerful than saying “I take pictures of weddings”?
Remember that potential customers are wondering, “What’s in it for ME?” What can you say that will catch the attention of your customers?
Now get out there and start bragging!