Argh!!! How many times have you walked out of a meeting and kicked yourself for forgetting to mention a key point?
That brilliant argument or piece of information that was going to WOW them? That one thing that would have made all the difference?
You had a severe case of ‘custard brain’. All your clever points just dribbled out of your ears into a soggy puddle under the gaze of your client, prospect or boss.
It happens to us all.
To avoid custard brain, I find it useful to have prompts written down wherever I can to help keep me on track. And I’ve got a great one for when you’re talking about your product or service with clients and prospects.
It will help you focus on the benefits of your product or service, not just on the features.
Because when the custard brain strikes, we can easily start diving down the rabbit hole of detail about what we do and forget to say why it’s important.
Here’s a neat tip from communication expert Frank J. Pietruchr in his book, Supercommunicator. It’s designed to get you into a ‘benefits-oriented mindset’. Or, as I say, ‘more you, you, you and less me, me, me.’
Write these 5 words at the top of your notepad, tablet or whatever you take to meetings:
‘What this means for you’
This will be your prompt to stay on track if your thoughts turn to tapioca.
- Dropbox has an account transfer tool feature. What this means for you is that you can easily transfer files from one user to another if people leave or join your team.
- Quickbooks has a dashboard showing all your payments and invoices. What this means for you is you always know how much money your projects are making.
- Smith & Smith offers a wide range of template contracts for your business. What this means for you is that you don’t have to shell out big money for a lawyer when you’re just doing something straightforward.
You get the idea.
Give those 5 little words a try in your next meeting* and let me know how you get on.
So long, custard brain. Welcome to meetings that convert.
*By the way, ‘What this means for you’ is also a great phrase for internal presentations with senior stakeholders.