When First Meeting The Suits

Speak Your Mind, Therapy, Unhealthy.

A trilogy of current hit pop albums. Heard 'em?

Well, I actually had. Even knew that latter was just out now.

From young English popette, Anne-Marie.

And by fluke, I caught her on one of those record label pr gigs that popstars can loath. A slot on a mainstream, mature audience skewed morning tv show.

As snapped above. Where you're forced to stand next to a 'celeb' chef as they rustle up something impossible to recreate at home in time or serving. As you try produce riveting chat whilst they feign interest. Then you must taste and comment on their dish with such élan tv producers rush to fly you around the world to document your jaw-dropping culinary wisdom.

In this case, she knowing giggled the satirical line ,"it's everything you'd want for in a dish".

The warm, cheeky, thoughtful quirks of her personality shone.

Accompanied with lovely insight too.

Yes, it can be "always hard to stay down one lane", "weird is a compliment", and sometimes we all think "I never knew".

This last observation, specific to when she tried to get into the music industry. That first meeting with 'the suits', as the chef called them.

Her reveal, was that everybody in positions of power at that stage seems to ask the same things.

I instantly recognised them as yet another viable template for the rapid-fire condensed personal 'elevator type' pitch. Which succinctly fills that gap for anyone you meet anew wondering what you're all about. Crucially, also providing sound platform for dialogue to begin with you shaping that often critical initial conversation.

Here's her recounting of these three questions;

Who are you?
What music do you wanna make?
What direction are you going in?

I've blogged options aplenty on such like down the years.

This one has echoes of the classic Simon Sinek Start With Why Golden Circle.

Offering intriguing slants beyond.

In fact, the simplest tweak to the above you could do, is to swap out her 'music' to 'success'.

But let's look at each of the trio for our solution sell purposes.

'Who are you' can combine elements of what made you what you are today (back or origin story), with statement of where you're at right now.

I suspect her answers weren't, at the time, akin to "I'm a 20-ish dance-poppy singer-songwriter".

Even though she might not have had a practised response, I can picture her saying something that got across the essence of who she was.

Interestingly, recently I was asked for a similar snapshot in a specific field around my mid-career. My answer in written form then, deliberately alliterative;

Seasoned Spearheading SaaS Senior Exec.

'What music do you wanna make' for us feels like it must stem from what problem we want to resolve. How will successfully fixing it manifest itself?

Music might encompass the like of genres, target audience, lyrical themes, trend aspiration, projected image.

These each have selling siblings.

We'll have our own 'style', profile of those likely helped most and how we'd like our clients to think of us.

'What direction are you going in' feels universal. Not quite the typical (often vacuous) 'where do you see yourself in five years'. Although the 20th Century sketch show treatment of corporate recruitment where the interviewee then gets up and moves behind the chair of the interviewer chuckles to mind.

When launching my (what I still believe to be the first dedicated) Enterprise Knowledge Management 'SaaS', I did get asked versions of this by prospects. Who in today's labels were Chief Exec and CSO/CRO types.

I found that my deliberate avoidance of world domination desires resonated. Better to genuinely define a niche by being a 'gazelle' or 'sliver', in the academic labelling of world-class small business back then.

Direction also feels a better, less programmed, un-jargon term than purpose, vision or mission.

So, for the here and now, in first-run brief draft form (which needs the scissors of editing, craft glue of clear thread and glitter of more inspo), here's my go.

I'm all about re-energising video calls that sell.
So they become distinctive over any competition, looked forward to by prospects and complete more actions.
Heading in the direction where video meetings are embraced in their ideal place, giving people I help career-long methods proving more productive, engaging and memorable.

What's yours?

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