Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What do you do? Does it depend?

I work with entrepreneurial business owners from all over New York State. They all have a desire to help more people with their products and services. They are ambitious in their hope to grow their business.

One of the ways I consult with business owners is to help them develop an Emotional Based Marketing message. The components of an effective Emotional Based Marketing message are that it be clear, simple, synergistic, and consistent.

The Emotional Based Marketing message is the point of contact that gets passed from person to person when networking. We look at your word-of-mouth marketing message as a relay race. If you consider a relay race, the baton has to be passed from person to person to person to finally cross the finish line. Your marketing message needs to be clear, simple, synergistic, and consistent in order to be easily passed along this relay race. The last person to receive this message is a prospect – a potential client – and they need to know what it is that you do.

I was working with a fitness professional last week and when I asked her how she answered the question, “What do you do?” she said, “It depends.”

If she’s talking to a person who is stressed out – there’s one answer. If she’s talking to a mom – there’s another answer. If she’s talking to someone who is overweight – there’s a third answer. She tells people her work is fun. She tells them it is a dance exercise program. She tells them it is challenging. She tells them it is a workout.

When we turned the conversation to answering the question with an answer starting with “I help…” she had some new thoughts.

I help…people…feel better…about themselves…and achieve their health and fitness goals.

It could work – but is it clear and simple? Will it be easily passed along from person to person in the relay race of word-of-mouth marketing?

She said, “How about, ‘I help people feel healthier inside and out.’” I think that is a little closer, but does that touch your heart. Does that response touch your emotions?

We look at a lot of emotions that help charge us and move us in the direction of delivering a truly emotional based marketing message. Do you provide security or happiness or confidence of fulfillment? Do you prevent stress or pain or wasting time or illness? What do you do that connects to people’s lives?

She doesn’t just help people feel healthier – she helps people live healthier. We tried, “I help people live healthier inside and out.” We wanted to make sure it was clear and simple – so with a few more edits we landed on, “I help people live healthier”.

When someone asks her what she does she now has an answer. They could be a prospect or a referral source or a family member. They could be someone dealing with stress or they could be a mom or they could be overweight. Her answer now is synergistic with who she is as a fitness instructor. It is clear. It is simple. It will be consistent because everyone she talks with going forward will hear the same answer. “I help people live healthier”.

This always makes people respond, ‘How do you do that?’ and by then, they’ve formed a positive image of who she is and what she does because of her five word answer. Clear, simple, synergistic, and consistent are all you need to achieve your emotional based connection to the world.


David Makar is a Referral Marketing Consultant with the Referral Institute Ithaca. He helps business owners work less, make more, and play more by helping them create Referrals for Life.

The Referral Institute Ithaca is a company region of the Referral Institute, the world’s leading referral marketing consulting, training, and coaching organization. It offers referral marketing training, coaching and consulting to individuals and organizations, and teaches business professionals how to harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing to drive sales and generate long-lasting, sustainable business growth. The vision of the Referral Institute of Ithaca is to improve the lives of all residents of upstate New York through changing the way business is done – from transactional to relational. David Makar works with business owners from Rochester to Westchester with a specific focus on Tompkins County business owners who want to learn the skills to create Referrals for Life.

For more information about the Referral Institute Ithaca, visit


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