What if your pants were on backward?

If you went to a party and saw a friend wearing their pants backward, would you tell them?  What if it was you with the backward pants? Would you want someone to tell you? And if they did, how would you respond? Would you be angry for the criticism, or thankful for the critique? Would you tell yourself, “This is how I’ve always worn them,” and move on? Would you change your pants but put them on the same way? Or would you consider the observation and ask for help?

Businesses must explore every possible opportunity to introduce themselves. But more chances to share a message means more chances to send the wrong message. Publishing content with misspelled or misused words…stumbling through an elevator speech that’s unprepared or unfocused…giving a presentation with more “um’s,” “like’s,” and “you know’s” than anyone can count…these are all very much like wearing your pants the wrong way. You may not realize it, but everyone else does. And what it says about you and your business will always overshadow whatever you're trying to say.

Soon, we'll face the daunting task of reintroducing ourselves to a business community that's different than it was a year ago.  Now, more than ever, it's crucial to consider your message and get some thoughts from someone who can help you stand out like a superstar, rather than stick out like a sore thumb.  Because the last thing you want to be is the person everyone’s talking about for all the wrong reasons.  And if you don't have someone like that, well then, allow me to introduce myself.  I'm R.J. Foster, and I'd be happy to help you shape and share your story.  After all, I'm a Wordsmith...shaping words into works of art.  

For more helpful insights about your business messaging, visit my blog or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can talk

Reason #1 to Ditch the Pitch: convincing vs. connecting

We love buying things, but hate being sold things.  We go shopping looking for stuff to buy, but we tell the persistent salesperson to leave us alone.  We like searching the web for information, but we cringe when online ads and pop-ups search for us.  We enjoy the idea of getting something, but we hate the prospect of being told what we “must have.”

Don't dress up a pig

Posted on by R.J. Foster,

I recently read an article that recommended replacing your elevator pitch with one of six “new” pitches. The piece suggested that by squeezing your message into a cleverly named format, you can more effectively move people to the response you are seeking.

Three things new clothes and new content have in common

1.  People rarely realize when they need them.
Personally, we like to think we look good.  Professionally, we like to think we sound good.  Unfortunately, nobody wants to be the one to say you need help in either area.  Topping the list of things you’re NOT going to hear at your next networking event… “Your jacket makes you look like a clown,” and “Your elevator speech makes you sound like a used-car salesman.”

Does anyone sell to everyone?

Posted on by R.J. Foster,

What I remember most about my first visit to the Wisconsin State Fair was the guy in the vendor building selling “super-shammies.”  A miracle of spill management technology, these super absorbent sheets were able to soak up copious amounts of anything you might drip, dribble, or spill.  More incredible than the sheets, though, was the way the guy was selling them. Mesmerized by his voice and amazed by his demonstrations, people (myself included) were feverishly groping for their wallets so as not to miss the special offer available only to the first 50 customers.

So how did this marketing magician generate universal appeal?  He spoke to everyone in the crowd, individually.  He focused not on features and benefits for everyone, but on how a given feature was of particular benefit to someone.  The difference?

  • This product is for any household spills.
  • Moms, you’ll love how quickly this product makes that juice-box-mess a memory!

When telling a group about your product or service, don’t describe your ideal customer or perfect referral as, “Everyone who…” or “Anyone who…”. Think about who you really want to talk to, and then talk to them in a way that they can understand and relate to.  What’s the best way to sell to everyone?  One someone at a time!

Posted in Message Development, Presentation Development