7 words to a sale: Why you need a good one-liner

What do you do when you’re asked, “What do you do?”

If you:

  • begin your response with, “Well, it’s complicated…”
  • try to think up a compelling answer on the spot…
  • notice eyes are glazing over as you fumble through your answer…
  • can’t remember exactly what you said a day later…

then you are in very good company, because most people respond exactly this way. Unfortunately, these are also a few of the best ways to miss amazing sales opportunities.

Think about it. The greatest gift a person can give to anyone else is a moment of their attention. In a moment, a future customer is either won or lost. Whether someone asks “What do you do?” out of curiosity or politeness, what matters most is the response.

Fortunately, old dogs can learn new tricks, and all you need to do now is learn one simple trick from: the one-liner.

We’re all familiar with mission statements and elevator pitches, but a one-liner is neither of those things. Rather, it is the clearest, most productive way to confidently answer the single question of, “What do you do?”

One-liners follow a three-part formula of problem, product, and result. They should first address the problem your business solves, then state exactly what you’re selling, and finally, paint a picture of how buying your product or service leads your customers to a better quality of life.

As an example, let’s use an imaginary company that makes products to replace commonly used household plastic products. A possible one-liner for them might be:

Millions of people care deeply about the environment and want to create less waste, but they still use single-use plastics every day. When you use our biodegradable alternatives to household plastic products, covering leftovers from dinner is convenient and leaves you feeling guilt-free.

In this example, the problem is that many well-intending people compromise their values by using single-use plastic products. This company offers a product to solve that problem: biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastic products. As a result, customers feel guilt-free while maintaining the convenience of using products they need.

Sounds simple enough, right?

It is high time to create a good one-liner for your business and quit losing sales. Here are a few tips for maximum effectiveness as you write yours:

  • Don’t settle for the most obvious, surface-level problem right away. Go deeper, and dig for the gold that sets your business apart.
  • Ask yourself…
    • Is this problem too specific? Too broad?
    • Will most people think, “Great, but that doesn’t apply to me”? 
    • Or will they roll their eyes, thinking, “That’s not so bad. I have it under control,” or, worse, “Another business is handling that for me”?
  • Frame the problem so people will begin to notice it in their own life. That way, when someone experiences it days, weeks or months later, they will think, “I know exactly who can help.”
  • Don’t go off course by talking about everything you sell. Make sure the product (or service) is a direct solution to the problem, even if you sell other products or services.

If all of this sounds great, but you still aren’t quite ready to jump in and find your one-liner, have no fear! Business Made Simple University offers courses breaking this concept down even further, along with many other tips to grow your business and increase sales. To join BMSU, click here: https://www.businessmadesimple.com?ref=sourcebrandsolutions.

When you are equipped with a good one-liner, your mind will never again reel as you grasp for an answer to the question of, “What do you do?”

Once your one-liner is polished and ready to go, every member of your team should memorize it and use it in conversation. Confidence in your company will grow as people hear this clear, simple message repeated about exactly what it is you solve.

Soon enough, the increase in sales and money in the bank will speak for itself, and you’ll find yourself asking, “What did we do before we had a one-liner?”