Here is a pattern I see everywhere.
When we talk about an idea or our business, we somehow feel the urgency to describe all the amazing things that it contains. In fear of not being credible, we jump quickly to what it is. We demo our product, rush to our solution, and list all its features and benefits. We show it off.
We do this because we’re proud of our logo. That’s ok. Pride is good until there is not enough room for people to connect with the deeper reason why our business matters.
As Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer”.
Creating a customer is like inviting someone to join us on a journey. The first thing we should do before we sell them the trip is to compel them to join. This works better if we make them excited about what makes us excited and give them the time to understand why they should join.
Airlines sell the destination before they sell the airplane.
In your communication, think about the time and space you spend talking about yourself and your stuff. That’s the “airplane”. The destination is everything you say about your audience and what is appealing to them.
I also call the “airplane” the “brag zone”. If you open your sales deck in the slide-sorter mode in PowerPoint or look at the homepage of your website, you can literally see it. It corresponds to the space you use to show-off your company and its capabilities, products, services, credentials, etc.
Focusing on the destination keeps us customer-centric, empathetic, focused on improving someone’s life.
What to do:
We will resist the temptation to say everything about our idea until we have set the context that helps people understand why it exists.
We won’t bring ourselves into the narrative until we feel like we’ve painted a vivid picture of the opportunity we want people to see.
We will focus on sharing our view of the world, reframing our understanding of our community’s challenge, and redefining the needs to be addressed.
In our presentations, websites and all our artifacts, we will focus on the destination.
We will shrink our brag zone.