We've all experienced that awkward moment when we try to explain our business to someone, only to be met with a polite but uninterested response. But what if we told you that you can avoid that situation entirely by mastering the art of the one-liner?
At the heart of this technique lies the power of storytelling. We all know that stories have the ability to captivate, inspire and influence our thoughts and decisions. By using a one-liner that encapsulates the essence of your business story, you can make a lasting impact on your prospects.
Today, Simon Harvey and Daniel Kleber, will guide you through a step-by-step formula to create a compelling one-liner that will leave a lasting impression on your prospects. So if you're ready to transform your communication and take your business to the next level, join us on this episode as we uncover the power of the one-liner.
To help you improve your marketing strategy, download the free brand script worksheet, which includes sections for each part of the storytelling framework we discuss in our episodes, here (or copy and paste the link below):
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When you meet the ideal business prospect at a trade show or over coffee, you want to be able to tell them concisely how you help and why they should continue the conversation. But you know what it's like. This perfectly planned pitch more often than not turns into a bunch of ramblings. And a polite, yeah, thank you, I might reach out some day, in return. When people hear a good story, they feel part of it, and become connected with it. It impacts their thoughts, actions and decisions. However, we often don't have the time to tell the full story. And that's where the one liner comes in. In the case of the cinema, the one liner helps producers decide whether to make this film or not. In the case of your business, it explains what your company is about and why it matters. On today's episode, we're going to dive into the depths of the one liner, see how they can be used. and give you a formula that you can use to create a killer one liner that hooks prospects every time. Hi there and welcome to the Authentic Marketing Podcast. I'm your host Simon Harvey and with me today is our co host Daniel Klaiber.Daniel:
Hi, great to be back.Simon:
Good to have you back. On today's episode we're going to talk about how to summarise your offering using a one liner. It's rare that you've got time to tell the whole story, so the one liner is a way that you can get across the key points of your story quickly and get people interested. So Daniel, let's start off with an example. Um, do you know Liam Neeson and the movie Taken?Daniel:
Yeah, I've seen that one cool.Simon:
It's a very good film, you know, high action suspense type thing. But for those that don't, the general premise is that Liam Neeson's daughter gets kidnapped. Um, and then basically he's this hero that's got to go and fight off the people that kidnapped her in order to get her back and save a life. Now the key thing about this is that people are able to relate to that character, not that they can necessarily beat up all the kidnappers themselves, but because they believe that if they were in the same situation that they'd act in a similar way. And that means that basically they can relate to that character. Once they can relate, then they start to get interested because then they feel like they're part of the story and they're involved in that story and they're concerned about that person. Now you're definitely going to go and watch the whole movie.Daniel:
Yeah, I totally agree with you because I'm also able to identify myself with this movie. I would totally act the same way as, uh, Neeson and kick those kidnappers asses.Simon:
Um, sure, I could see you doing that sort of thing, absolutely. But when there's a good story, you know, you experience what's known in the industry as narrative transportation. You know, the better the story is, the more that you feel included in that story. You know, you're transported into the story. And guess what? That works with your marketing as well.Daniel:
So from a customer perspective, what makes a story good?Simon:
Yeah. So a good question. I think the key thing is that the customers need to see themselves in images, they need to sort of feel the same pains that you're talking about within your story there, and then they become interested then, you know, they're transported into the story. Once they're transported the whole way in, then the way that they think about you and the way that they feel about your brand changes and ultimately the way that they make decisions is impacted as well. So it's a really powerful tool.Daniel:
It's almost the same as they do in the movie Inception,right?Simon:
Oh, I'm very familiar with that one, yeah.Daniel:
With good stories, you can place thoughts into the mind of your customers.Simon:
You're absolutely right, but we do it with story rather than using machinery to do that sort of thing. So yeah, yeah, there's no need for long stories either. Great big paragraphs of text, you know, with a bit of thought you can get that same feeling through something like a social media post, um, or a good image on Instagram or on your website, anything like that. When it comes to creating a one liner, I think the following are the key points. You need to identify what your character wants, what the problem is that you solve, and ultimately how they're going to be transformed once they've followed your advice.Daniel:
Just keep in mind that you have to focus on one thing and not 50. Otherwise, the message isn't clear enough.Simon:
Yeah, I think that's fairly key, actually, inside there. One thing is really important throughout all of this. Yeah, just going back to my film examples, you know, take the Grinch for example there. What does the Grinch want to do? The Grinch wants to steal Christmas and take away joy. You know, he doesn't want to steal Christmas as well as becoming a vet, or as well as joining yoga classes, or getting married, or anything like that. You know, he wants one thing, and that's the one thing that the movie focuses on.Daniel:
So you have to identify one thing and focus on that thing. Let's take an example. If you're a furniture shop, you might say that your customer wants a comfortable bed that makes them feel well rested. Another example, a digital agency might ask if you want marketing campaigns that bring you more leads. Or a travel agent might offer to send you to a place where you can relax and leave all your worries behind.Simon:
Yeah, absolutely. You've figured it out. And that's what you need to do. You need to work out what exactly it is that your customer wants and you offer them that. The reason to have one idea is that... People are able to hold on to that, you know, if you give them more than one idea to consider, then ultimately things become confusing. Yeah, I'd like to use this as an example, you know, just think about trying to carry, you know, large jugs of milk. If you've got a litre and a half jug of milk, something like that, you know, a gallon jug of milk for our colleagues over in the States. Um, you know, you can pick up one of those, no problems at all. The second one's probably also not too much of a problem. But if you try and pick up many more than that, you know, what's gonna happen? The floor will get wet. Absolutely. You end up with a mess on the kitchen floor and you drop the whole lot. And that's exactly the same with your messages. They end up losing everything basically, forgetting everything that you've said.Daniel:
A lot of times our customers start off by saying, That sounds great. But we have this wide range of products and we are offering 10 different solutions. I mean, that is great, but in almost all instances, there's just one story that drives the mission of the company where there are more products. They can have their own one liners to be effective. A story always focuses on one thing.Simon:
Yep, absolutely, you're right, it does. It doesn't mean that you can't talk about other solutions, absolutely not. I mean, many companies have multiple products and things that they focus on. But what you want to do is to think of your company as being an umbrella. You know, that becomes the main story, and then that story has a set of sub stories. So if you think about your website, for example. Your main story lives on the homepage. That's where you talk about generally what the company is about, the problem that the company as a whole solves, and then think through the various products and solutions on separate pages. And then you provide one story and a one liner for each of those individual sort of solutions on those sub pages. They each tell their story and they each have their own need and they each have their own problem.Daniel:
And you should never forget clarity. Let's talk about something relatable. For example. Let's talk about a company developing websites. What should they say?Simon:
Um, what would a company developing websites say? Something like, you know, we create dream websites that sell your product. How about that? ThatDaniel:
isn't too bad. Easy, simple, not complicated, and has no inside terms. It's relatable. Because that is what I want. My dream website that gets me new customers.Simon:
Yeah, exactly. That's what we all want at the end of the day. And clarity is always the best. You know, you don't want to be over complicated. You just need to ask yourself, what is it that my customer wants? And answer in one simple sentence, you know, it's as easy as that.Daniel:
So now we've discussed the theory. Let's take a look at the framework that you can use to build a great one-liner.Simon:
So on today's episode, we've been looking at how to create your one-liner. This is effectively the elevator pitch that will ensure you hook your prospects every time. A killer one-liner consists of three sections. The first of these is the problem.Daniel:
We talked about the problem a lot in our previous episode. You can use either the main external problem Or one of the internal problems that you think is most pressing for your prospects.Simon:
You need a problem because if there's no problem, there's no story. Think about these two openers for a business pitch. Which of them do you want to know more about? So here you go. Every morning I jump out of bed. I feel refreshed. I easily get through the day. Or, the second one here. Every morning I struggle to get out of bed as the pain shoots down my back and legs. I feel tired. I wonder how I'll make it through another day. Which of those two do you think is the right one? Um, yeah, I'll let you make up your minds, but to me, the second one is, of course, it's got a problem. Will this person make it through the day or will they not? You're right.Daniel:
The first one is boring. There's no tension, no uncertainty, nothing to improve. Our brains have already gone into energy-saving mode before they get to the end of the paragraph. The second one piques your interest. You're wondering what the problem could be. And as you say, Whether the person will make it through the day or whether something disastrous will happen.Simon:
Yeah, so many people start their pitches with a set of facts. I'm sure you've felt yourself do this. You think about the way you've started things in the past when you meet someone at a trade show for the first time, for example. How often have you started with something like, I help clients generate new leads or Our product makes tea and coffee and serves you with a biscuit of your choice. Or, I'm the regional SAP representative, or whatever your brand happens to be that you represent. You know, these might all be very valid and important things, but there's nothing in there that will hook people. It's all about me. It's all about us and the company and don't forget when we're talking about story, your story should always be about the hero, you know, your customer.Daniel:
I would say that another reason for starting with a problem is that you instantly create a connection between the issue that your ideal customer has and the solution that you provide. We talked about this a lot last week. If I need to get from A to B, then I can call Uber. If I don't know the answer to the question, then I Google it.Simon:
Yeah, that's true. You're creating a connection between your brand and the problem. Yeah, this also leads to the third reason that you want to do this, which is value. If I'm going to go out there and say that, for example, I'm an SAP partner, or again, whatever that brand may be, then prospects are immediately going to put me in the same bucket as every other SAP partner. You know, they're going to look at the services that we offer, they're going to look at the rates that we charge, and they're going to choose according to the cheapest that does, in whatever their mind is, what they want. So, by starting with the problem, You're immediately jumping to an area where this prospect sees a need. They already have value associated with that problem. They may be understaffed and need someone to write highly technical content, for example. Or, they may be unable to manage their rapidly growing number of employees. You know, these are all good problems that you could offer a solution to in your one liner. And if you position yourself as a problem solver, then your value to them is based on the cost of that problem, and it's not directly associated to what your competitors are charging.Daniel:
The final thing I would say about this is not to try to include every problem your customer faces in your one liner. Name only one problem and make it the biggest one.Simon:
Yeah, avoid information overload, we've mentioned that before. So let's move on to the next part, the solution. Now that you've stated your problem, your customer is ready to hear, how are you going to solve it? We're all in business because we provide the solution to a problem. Everything we buy is just because it solves a problem that we happen to have. In the case of the person with the back pain that I mentioned earlier, the problem statement that we might want to use might go something like, we provide a non pharmaceutical way to numb the pain associated with trapped nerves.Daniel:
One thing not to forget, and this is very important, is how your problem and solution are connected. A common mistake that people make at this stage is to come up with a solution statement that's not connected to the main problem. Your driveway is covered in weeds. We sell electrically operated gates. These don't relate. If you're selling electric gates, then the problem needs to be related. You could use something like, keep your property safe, we sell electrically operated gates.Simon:
Yeah, exactly as we spoke about before. You want it to be as clear as possible. So, keep your property safe, we sell electrically operated gates. Exactly right. Try to avoid what I'd call cute and clever language. Try to avoid things like jargon as well. People want to hear a simple solution to their problem. So rather than trying to be too wordy or using industry jargon, just keep it clear and simple. The last part that we want to talk about is the result. This is the part everyone is waiting to hear. It's the culmination of the story. In the result statement, you want to think about the success your heroes achieved, or the transformation they've undertaken. So go back to your brand script, and I want you to use language from those sections. For example, if we're talking about windows, you could say that the solution is, we provide double glazed windows. But if you want to take that a step further, you might want to add, which results in. So then you'd get something like, we provide double glazed windows, which results in a warm and cosy home. Now you see what you're selling is not only the windows, but you're also selling this idea of a warm and cosy home that people might like. Or, going back to my back pain story again, the result there might be just living a normal life once again.Daniel:
So the result should focus on the successful outcome for your customer and how it will improve their life. It should be clear with just one or two success points. And of course, it should be realistic, promising only what you can deliver. So now, you just have to connect all three of your parts. Problem, solution and theSimon:
result. Yep, problem, solution, result. Let's put it together and see what we get. So going back to my back pain example, I think I'd say something like Every morning, millions of people struggle to get out of bed. As pain shoots down their back and legs, they feel tired and wonder how they'll make it through another day. At Sciatico, we provide a non-pharmaceutical way to numb the pain associated with trapped nerves, allowing long-time sufferers a way to enjoy a normal life once again.Daniel:
So there you have it. A great one-liner that you can use as an opener to conversations at your next trade show. Or, you can put it on your website, in emails, or everywhere where you talk about your business. When you start using your one-liner, you will start to see people show interest in your business. Thanks, Simon. So thereSimon:
we have it. Such a simple thing but so powerful. It's a thing that's made the dreams of many writers come true and it's one of the simplest things that you can do to improve the success of your business too. Thanks Daniel for your tips and I look forward to talking with you more next week. And if your prospects don't understand what you offer or if you aren't sure how to build a convincing one-liner or elevator pitch for yourself, then you can hire an authentic engagement coach. Just go to Demodia. com to hire a coach that will show you how to increase the effectiveness of your marketing and give you an easier way to grow your business. So listeners, at the end of each podcast, I like to give you a set of concrete actions. These are practical steps from today's episode that you can take to immediately improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing. In our conversation today, we talked about the one liner and how to build a captivating elevator pitch that engages your prospects within a few seconds. Thank So for today's concrete steps, I'd like you to think about how you open your conversations with new contacts and create a one-liner for your business. To help out, you can go to demodia. com slash brandscript. There you'll find the brandscript worksheet that I've created that you can download. Within that, you'll find sections for each part of the storytelling framework, as well as a section there to insert your one-liner. Just as a recap, remember that the one-liner consists of three parts. The problem, the solution and the transformation. So you're going to write just one short paragraph in there that includes all three of those things and describes what you offer that your customer wants. I want you to start by looking at the problem section of your brand script and write just one sentence that summarizes the external problem and how that makes your prospects feel. Next, you're going to go to the guide section and you're going to use the content in there to describe in about 10 to 15 words how you help your customers to overcome this problem. Finally, I want you to go and use the content in the transformation section to explain to them how your solution is going to improve their lives. So think about things like some of the extra value that you're bringing to them there. Once you've done that, you can test it and refine it. So run it past a few internal colleagues or trusted friends. And then once you've got something that you're happy with, that everyone understands and everyone gets, I want you to use it and I want you to use it everywhere, use it anywhere you introduce yourself, put it on your website, use it at trade shows when you're meeting up with people for the first time there at the coffee tables or at the bar and put it into all of your sales emails, particularly cold emails. So with a clear and concise one liner opening, conversations become simple and your prospects will engage So that's all for today's episode. Thank you so much for listening to the authentic marketing podcast, where we help you to create a sales and marketing plan that will get you new customers and grow your business. Follow us and rate us wherever you listen to your podcasts and don't forget to join the conversation on LinkedIn. We love to hear what you want to learn and how we're helping your business to succeed. See you next time.