What’s Your Sleep Number?

Unless you’ve spent your years as a business owner hiding under a blanket, you’ve heard all the statistics about how many marketing messages the average person is bombarded with every day. And you’ve heard how important it is for your message to cut through that clutter.

Well, a marketer I know out in California has a unique way of demonstrating that advice when she presents marketing workshops. She walks across a bed of nails! As she stops and balances midway through her “walk,” she reminds her workshop participants that when their messages are packed with lists of bullet points, the messages look and sound just like every other message out there. And just as she can walk across a bed of crowded, evenly spaced nails without any single nail piercing her, messages that don’t stand out can’t penetrate their intended audience either. In fact, she notes, some people can even sleep on a bed of nails – and sleep is the last thing you want your audience to do when you’re trying to communicate with them.

Then she pulls out a board with a single nail in it – and demonstrates how sharp a point a message can make when it stands out on its own.

OK, now it’s time for a quick exercise: What’s your company’s”sleep number”? Be honest. If it’s a bit too soft and comfy, you might be putting your audience to sleep. What can you say or do differently to wake them up and get them to notice you? What out-of-the-ordinary, unexpected thing can you do, say or deliver that would penetrate?

Remember, your message isn’t all about your advertising either. How do you interact with your customers? What are your turnaround times? Do you consistently maintain – or even enhance – quality? All of these are also messages that you send.

This may seem like really basic advice, but figuring out how to cut through all the blah, blah, blah to stay connected with prospects and customers – especially during an economic downturn – will determine your success (and whether you can sleep at night!).

By the way, the name of Terri’s marketing company? Blah Blah Blah.


About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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