This post has nothing to do with trainers. Well, sort of. It is about getting a job, getting seen or self-branding..
In 1999, a good friend of mine tried to get a job in a highly esteemed London Ad Agency. He was amongst 1000 hopeful graduates just on the market trying to get into the best spots. Big names, big competition. I wonder how many of them did what he did…
Instead of sending a CV, he sent a plastic moulded cast of his foot. In a shoe box. When the box was opened, there was a simple message: “I need a trainer. Call me” (+ his number).
I suppose that most other people sent in a CV. My guy didn’t. He did what everyone needs to do if they want to get somewhere with the help of other people….
1 – Tune in to the situation, values and needs of the other person
This is key to any “sales situation”, whether it be getting a job, selling a house or service or convincing your friends to come out on a Saturday night. You need to put your active empathy skills into practice and tune in to the other person. You’ve gotta be FAB. The shoe in a box was tuned into the need for creativity and an original dynamic approach.
2 – You have to stand out . You might say: That’s easy in the advertising world, but not in real life. OK, a good point – but I’m not asking you to be creative and wacky all the time. Just different to the other guy. What makes you different? Even if you have a simple classic CV, you have to have something that the others don’t have. A USP.
3 – But don’t bullshit. What I liked about the shoe in the box was that it didn’t make any great claims-to-fame that wouldn’t hold up. The action itself suggested “creativeness” but the need for a trainer underlined a lack of arrogance that needed supporting. Nice. Subtle. But cool.
These lessons may come from a world of advertising and recruitment, but they are valid for a lot of communication situations. Tune into the situation/values/needs of the other, stand out and keep it real.
Thanks for reading.
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This blog post explains the basics of FAB communication. FAB is a simple acronym to help you remember what people want to hear and what they don’t. Talk FAB and you have more chance of being heard. Talk FAB and you have more chance of getting what you need from your communication.
In training with IT consultants, I ask them to create a short personal CV for a potential client. I ask them for qualities that would be interesting for their clients.
I tend to get a lot of answers like:
- Organisational Skills
- Degree in Engineering
- Bilingual French and German
F = Features …and basically: No-one cares
For me, the types of answer noted above are simply features of the consultant. Things they are or things they do. Most people don’t care about features because they simply aren’t interesting.
A = Advantages …which are already much better
An advantage is defined as what makes it better to have “F” than not have “F”. So I ask the consultants to translate their features into advantages.
This is what I get (respectively, for the aforementioned “F” answers):
- Able to efficiently organise workload and ensure that priority work is finished on time
- Able to understand complex ideas and translate them into models and processes
- Can talk to Swiss customers
Already much better!! …but….
B = Benefits …and this is what people care about
In fact, let me slow down a bit. What DO people care about? Do I care about you? No! I care about me… and despite my wife and mother telling me to be less egoistic, I WILL ALWAYS CARE ABOUT ME.
Just like the procurement people looking for IT consultants care about themselves and their companies. So: We need to show the benefits of our advantageous feature. This means tuning in the advantage the situation, values and needs of the other person.
3 more examples:
- Ensure on-time delivery of new IT projects
- Help your people to implement new processes by defining clear and easy to follow steps
- Increase sales in Switzerland by streamlining customer communication
(…notice how the 2nd and 3rd benefit statements include a clear reference to the “A” statement) Now that’s more like it!!
Translating your features in to advantages that are beneficial for the other person is key to getting them to listen, care and act …and the applications go a lot further than selling IT consultants.
Here are a few examples of moments when FAB communication would be good:
Convincing your partner to take a different route to your holiday destination
- F = road name
- A = what makes that road better
- B = why your partner should care
A strong WIIFM statement in a presentation introduction
- F = “I will tell you about 1, 2, 3”
- A = Why 1, 2, 3 is good
- B = What you will get out of listening to me
The opening paragraph of this blog-post:
- F = “FAB is a simple acronym to help you remember what people want to hear and what they don’t”
- A = “Talk FAB and you have more chance of being heard”
- B = “Talk FAB and you have more chance of getting what you need from your communication”
I hope you liked this post and I hope you are ready to be FAB.
Feel free to leave a comment..