For the past four years I have had the privilege of working with a bunch of financial services firms in the northeast in a collaborative training and development program. In creating and delivering content, I would always make sure that just about each day we had a special guest speaker come in to talk to the group of advisors. These guest speakers would typically be other advisors who are meeting with clients every day and would train to a certain topic.
Before the guest speakers “took the stage” I would try to deliver a motivating introduction that would pump up the speaker but also educate the audience on who they were hearing from. Often times the speaker was appreciative of the introductions with such comments as, “I wish my mom heard that,” or “I feel like I am a boxer coming down the aisle towards the ring with an announcer listing off my stats.” My favorite is when I would introduce someone with stats or awards they have won in the past that they weren’t even aware of!
At the end of training we would have the trainees fill out a feedback form and we would select a best guest speaker. And here is the thing – the guest speakers who had more sizzle in my introduction would always get higher marks than another guest speaker who delivered the same content (and often times did an even better job speaking and training.)
So a little ethos persuasion or halo effect has definitely taken place over the years in terms for rating guest speakers. It built extra engagement to the audience and there was a greater sense of credibility, even if the content, delivery and speech wasn’t as good as someone with a lesser introduction. The introductions had influence.
Now if you are often introduced before interacting with potential buyers, then make sure you spend time developing a good highlight reel of your career and business on paper so your introducer can share who you are the way you wish to be introduced. You may want to tailor your introduction depending on who you are speaking to. For example, if your audience is baby boomers, and you know 80% of your clientele are in that generation – you may want to add that to your introduction versus omitting it if you were talking to Gen-Y.
Ask yourself – How can I create an introduction to my business that will increase the chances of winning over prospective clients during my everday activities?
The Referral: If someone refers a prospective client to you, that is an automatic enhancer. If you weren’t great at what you do, then you wouldn’t have been referred.
The Web 1st Impression: Does your web presence present your credentials, awards and testimonials. This is simply a must, not an enhancement.
Email Signatures: Post links and awards under your name in your email signature.
If in front of a prospect, and you are working with a co-work, introduce each other with “this is why I like working with John…he has 10 years of experience…”
If a prospect is calling you on the phone, have your receptionist put a few phrases in their ear before they transfer you over… “Okay Mr. Prospect, I will forward you to our award winning account executive who has helped more than 250 clients with their marketing needs over the past 10 years.”
Eddy is the director of a unique training and development collaborative platform that services financial planning firms in the northeast where he has arguably worked with more Gen Y financial professionals than anyone in the country over the past four years. He is also the founder of The Growth Game, LLC. a professional development company and has authored a book that holds the same title. Eddy is a certified coach and specializes in helping professionals develop sales skills, leadership approaches and implement business development activity systems. Eddy has served on a number of national field training committees and has had articles published in industry leadership journals. You can email him at email@example.com.