My friend Bex was always waaay cooler than me.
At uni she’d rocked peroxide blonde hair, a tongue stud and an Indie band boyfriend (while I sported baggy tie-dye trousers that my friends still mock to this day).
These days she works in the music biz and really knows her stuff. I was moaning to her the other day about a song I’d heard on the radio.
‘The chorus comes in far too soon and then just gets repeated over and over,’ I whinged.
Bex told me with an eye roll, ‘That’s what the kids need these days!’
‘Because,’ she explained, ‘they’re listening to just 10-15 seconds of each song online before they decide whether to buy or move on. You can’t afford a meandering guitar intro or a gentle build up – you gotta come out swinging.’
And it struck me that it’s exactly the same in business….
Don’t Wait For The Chorus
If you’re communicating anything at all you gotta lead with the hook, the melody, the ‘earworm’.
Don’t waste valuable mental real estate with an ‘allow me to introduce myself’ or a ‘first a bit of background’.
Ugh. No-one likes a meanderer. It doesn’t matter if it’s a:
- sales proposal or pitch
- social media post
- email to a client or prospect
- voice mail
You need to get to the point faster than you think.
Don’t bury the meat in the middle or end – you’ve lost them by then. Hit them over the head straight away with the biggest problem they have, or make them curious by sharing an experience of one of your clients.
So here’s a little homework assignment for you: take a look at the latest document you’ve been working on and see how long it takes you to get to the meat. If you’re not grabbing the reader by the throat in your first paragraph then get back to that drawing board, ok?