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Apr 7, 2010

The Art of Specificity

I receive a number of offers weekly from people who want to speak at my networking events, give their advice to my mastermind groups or co-lead programs with me. The suggestions are worded something like, “If you ever need a speaker” or “I have great expertise in _____, and would be happy to share it with your group” or “If you’d like me to offer ____ during one of your sessions…” I delete them pretty quickly.

Following up would involve me thinking of who might need their particular expertise, shape a session around that or extend a program to suit their needs. The work is all on my shoulders, and I’m pretty busy.

What stood out for me last week was an offer I couldn’t refuse. A woman who attended one of my Create Your Own Future programs several years ago is proposing to serve as my West Coast ambassador. She wrote me a detailed email outlining what she could foresee contributing, the steps she would take and the possible outcomes. It was irresistible. We’ll have a conversation about this on Friday afternoon.

It reminded me of a deal I made with a local shop in my area that was one of my best sales ever. I proposed that we use the store’s beautiful, private upstairs dining area as a space for one of my mastermind groups. I would provide the leadership and a seat at the table for this proprietor.  She would contribute the room as well as market it to her client base. We would split the proceeds 60% (my take), 40% (her share). She signed on instantly.

See the difference? The what’s-in-it-for-her was clear as a bell. Plus, the only work involved on her part was recruiting women to participate, which in her particular shop was easy as pie.

If you see a match for your services/products and a potential buyer, do the homework. Figure out exactly what your contribution would be and how it would benefit the prospect. The best part of creating this kind of an offer is that once you take the time and energy to make it so tempting, you will be well on your way to enthusiastically marketing it on a broader basis.

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  1. kare Anderson

    You hit one of my hot buttons here. Individuals who do not get concrete about how some action would benefit both of us – often because they do not take time to understand the other person’s work, market or profit center(s).

    Your two great stories are not only vivid examples of the power of specificity but also what I called “triangling” in my first book, Getting What You Want (ironically NOT the title I wanted):

    Steps to connect:

    Because of your (interest, work in, need, niche market, etc.) you could (benefit here)

    That could happen if we….

    My interest in (doing this joint effort / doing this for you …) is ….

    The book is here

    • janepollak

      This is so great! Thank you.

  2. Jennifer

    I love this posting Jane. Not only is being specific important in how we present ourselves in our respective businesses but it is also important in figuring out how to position ourselves. When we describe what we do in broad strokes, it makes it hard for people to figure out exactly what is it we do. By being specific, we not only help provide clarity to others who may want to work with us, but also to ourselves in properly branding our business. Thanks for the story.

  3. Mary Moross

    Thank you for the west coast story. It reminded me that just being great at what we do will not get us to the people we would like to reach/serve. Talent is only the beginning. Reaching out and beyond the “This is what I want” to “This can benefit you too” breaks an egotistic energetic barrier. It allows for the potential to make good business collaborations because it makes good holistic human connections.

  4. janepollak

    I love your putting a term to this: breaking the egotistic energetic barrier. Well put! Thank you.


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