How To Get Attention: 13 Dos And Don'ts

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Photo: Ozventure via Flickr

The biggest challenge “was just getting people to pay attention. It’s 70 per cent of the battle.”
~ Dan Gilbert, CEO of Quicken LoansWith today’s biblical flood of information and communication, how do you get your message heard by the right people?

DO be brief, specific, and easy to understand

DO target the message specifically to the audience

While you may be able to solve a broad array of problems, focus the message on what you do best and what is in the best interest of the audience that you are trying to reach

The goal is not to be front of your customer's mind all the time; the goal is to be front of mind when they are looking for the solution that you can best provide

DO use stories to enhance credibility and give a personal touch, thus becoming more memorable

DO develop a relationship or a commonality with the customer or the audience

Network to get warm leads instead of relying on cold calls. A personal referral all but ensures that you will at least get in the door.

Know about the people and companies with whom you meet and use this knowledge. We all like to be stroked and reminded of something we may have done well.

DO listen

With so many of us speaking all the time, the person who listens to others is unique.

Listen and then clarify and confirm what the other person has said. This shows your interest and shows that you care.

DO give it away

Give your customer something that may help them in their business -- advice, an insightful article on their industry that you may have read, your informed perspective on their industry and growth possibilities.

Even if you don't get the work, you will be remembered because you have helped them.

DO create trust that you will do what you say

DO be consistent over time

The value of your message succinctly and consistently delivered over time is what helps you stay front of mind.

Regular customer contact is vital to prove your reliability and preserve relationships.

DON'T speak too loudly or too flashily

The decibel level in our environment today has continued to climb, reaching 110 dB or even higher. Screeching, screaming, and constant hard selling just ratchet the volume up even higher.

Do you really think that this point is more important because I added seven exclamations points? Instead, try to vary the volume.

Sometimes, speak in person or with your message very softly and then louder. The change in volume is what gets noticed.

DON'T talk about yourself too much

It is all about your customer and target audience. Keep it on radio station -- WII-FM (What's In It For Me).

As an anecdote, a few years ago, I went with some salespeople on an important sales call. The meeting was scheduled for an hour. The presentation about our company lasted for over 50 minutes. We actually never got around to talking about the customer, his problems, and how we could help solve them. Not surprisingly, we did not make the sale.

It is great when you are proud about your company and what it does. But, honestly, the customer and the target audience really do not care. They just want to know how you can help solve their problems.

DON'T overwhelm

Excessive information and too much contact can begin too great.

Create short, sharp messages on a regular basis to put you front of mind and reinforce. And nothing more. When visiting with customers, get in and get out; don't waste their time.

Having the perfect solution to someone's problem is insufficient. You must also make yourself heard.

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