Well, I think the truth is while the interviewer would never say that, the people that make it easiest for them are the ones that get the leg up in terms of getting their message heard. So, they may not be lazy, but a lot of these people have a lot of tight deadlines, and it’s the one that’s easiest to work with, I think, not necessarily the authority.
I think that point is while it should be the most important factor, you don’t even need to be the best or the most knowledgeable about your subject. It’s a much bigger package than that in terms of how to benefit the person that you want to connect with I think.
And if you have a sense of where you should be going with your conversation, you’re doing the most important work for them. Many of them, trained journalists have said, “A lot of people think that we’re asking gotcha questions, but it’s not gotcha questions. We’re just throwing out a bunch of things to see what sticks.” I’ve literally had a number of people who work on the national level even say that to me.
That relates so much to telephone skills. When a prospective patient calls the office, they’ll ask you how much a crown costs, or they’ll ask you if you accept their insurance plan. You think about it. They didn’t wake up just deciding to get information on the relationship and their insurance company. They have a need. They’re just not in a position to articulate it which is why it’s important of your to take control, which is very much, I think, the same thing you’re saying Jess. While being respectful and not manipulative, you really want to gain control of this conversation. Don’t you?
That’s it, and you want to be strategic it. We’re thinking about the answers we want to deliver, and we stare at that sheet after we’ve written it. We say, “Wow. If I did this, it would be perfect,” and what happens is if we don’t have that game plan, we’re floating around. We’re talking about this. We’re talking about that. We don’t know where we’re going.
So, here’s how we make it even better. We take that list after writing down. They say, “Jess, why seven minutes?” Well, five minutes is too short. As soon as you go over 10 minutes, it’s going to be turning into a thesis. We don’t want to do that either. So, I say in seven minutes, you can get the main ideas out of your brain. Can you refine it after that? Sure, I’m not going to stop you, but here’s what you do.
You have a minute to get the idea of this. We want to put them in three categories. You take a new sheet. As you see on the screen here, we turn it sideways. By the way, what I’m giving you right now, when I work with big companies, they pay thousands of dollars to have me sit there and do this stuff with them. Of course, we do the videotaping and rehearsals and all that stuff which, of course, I encourage all of you to try that, but you’re getting something completely big right now.
Okay. What we do is we take those answers, and we want to put them into three categories. We want to name those categories. We want to start looking for things that are common with the answers that you’ve written out. So, sometimes we notice that the person’s written down a lot of the problems, many problems that are out there. So, if we were talking about the segment for making yourself more kissable, some of the problems are your breath stinks; your teeth look funny. On the whole, don’t say you’re not approachable. These could be problems that you write down.
What are some of the solutions? When it comes to the whole package, you could say, “Well, I’m not a stylist.” Take somebody of the opposite sex who maybe knows more about it that you, as a man having done that, having taken my wife to go with me places or whoever knows more than you to fix that up. That’s one solution. Use what we offer for bad breath. That’s another solution. You could fill all those up.
Call to action. This is very important. A lot of times when people try that technique I’ve talked about where they write up all of the answers, they tend to write out many of the problems but not many of the solutions and no call to action. So, when I have them take those answers and write them down into these three boxes, they start to realize, “Wow. I can really talk about the solutions, and it can be amazing. I could really be offering a lot of value to the people that are listening and exciting them, and the call to action is not just go to my website.” Call to action is telling them to do something.
So, it’s saying, “Ask yourself this question: Do I want to be alive 10 years longer? Do I want to turn my spouse and friends off because I have bad breath?” You can put all these things into the call to action, and also for call to action, you can say, “I have a free video, report, free top 10 list on my website, and it tells people what they can do.” Now, I’m not even going to say the website. This is a technique called plugging without plugging. If I said, “Danny, it’s free to all of your listeners right now, and it’s on my website,” what would you be compelled to ask me?”
What is the website?
“What is the website?” Exactly. Get them to pitch for you and do the plugging. You’re just giving the value, but you’re doing it as a call to action. Here’s the perfect example. By the way, before I take you to that example, these three topics can be facts or details on the first column. It could be benefits on the second column, and call to action I like as a third one.
I had a woman who had a diet book. One of the three categories was ease it. She talked about how this was so easy. Maybe for people tuning in today, if you’re talking about a new procedure or something like that, maybe easy is one of the topics. You don’t have to rearrange your whole life. If I’m talking about a new procedure, it can be done in a short one hour to two hour session. You won’t be in any pain afterwards. You can go in and out of whatever you would be doing. So, maybe easy could be one of the categories, but here’s the reason for three categories. You want to a three-part answer every answer you give. Why would you want to do that?
If only one of your answers made it into a story, and that happens in print, you would have given a three part answer. You’ve done the job. You’ve given the problem. Using what you see on the screen here, you’ve given the problem a solution and asked them to act. You’ve done your job. Here’s the perfect little case study for that.
I had this guy, Anthony Pratt, who’s a big CEO from a company in Australia. He says, “Jess, I’m going to be on the Today Show in a couple of days,” and he was giving a $100 million actually to the Clinton Global Initiative. He said, “I just don’t want to do a bad job. I want to mention what I need to mention.” I said, “Okay. Let me ask you, are you going to be inside on the couch, or are you going to be outside with Al Roker?”
He said, “Actually outside with Al Roker,” as you see there. I said, “If anybody understands the idea of getting a three part message into every answer, it better be you.” I said, “You might only get one answer in.” As it turned out, he only got one answer in, and it wasn’t really problem, solution, call to action. So, we really answered it for him. So, he needed to mention the purpose, the people who were helping and a part of it, and the last part was some version of call to action saying that he wanted other people to get involved. He mentioned his company name. He said it was a home run. He got everything that he wanted done by mentioning those things, and he only got one answer. Then, Ann Curry even ran over and kissed him on the cheek.
Yeah, this great marketing piece. She was like, “You’re giving money to charity,” and she kissed him. It was this great marketing piece that lives on on his website, and it’s terrific.
One of the keys that we offer to get people to schedule appointments, too, is when they’re asking information, we always have a three part answer. If they want to know about a crown, you can tell them about the convenient, expensive crown, perhaps more affordable alternative, and the third option is that fortunately we make it easy for you to come in and give the dentist the opportunity to actually diagnose and examine you so we can make an informed decision. That’s why we offer a complimentary meet and greet so you can see if we’re the practice for you. So, it’s like I’ve given you the information, and I’ve given you no reason not to come in.
And that’s it. The beauty in the three is that you know where you’re going. I always call this the road map because if you’re off and you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re supposed to say, as long as you remember those three headings and you go to a problem or you get to the solution or you get people to act, you can start from any of the three. It’s just great. It takes a lot of the pain out of the interviews and gets people to be on track.
Now, I know we’re about an hour, and I have a lot of other exciting stuff I want to get to including the pitching part, very important. Now, why did I start with the media training part and getting your messages together and talking about those headlines? Because I always like to practice what I preach. I talked about beginning with the end in mind.
The end is having you be more media ready, and you need to think like a media person. You need to have your answers together to know what you’re going to say before even doing a pitch. So, I’d be doing a huge disservice if I started with this and you didn’t have a clear sense of what you wanted to pitch them. Then, you went out there, and they said, “Sounds good. We’ll use it.” Then, you say, “Uh.” That wouldn’t work.
Okay. Pitching the media, what works, what doesn’t. This is an actual e-mail that came to me. I change the name and phone number to protect the innocent, but these are actual e-mails that came to me when I was a producer. So, here’s the subject line. Pay attention very slowly so you don’t make the same mistake. Subject line: “Is the US headed for a similar merger with Canada and Mexico?”
Alright, I did work on a morning show in one of the cable networks at that time, and I was paying attention to the news. From that subject line, it did not compel me to open it, and I had no idea what they were talking about. Similar to what? What is going on? Then, once I opened it, they clutter up what I call the first ifall of the e-mail with “For immediate release”. Of course, it’s for immediate release. You just e-mailed it to me. It’s not 1910. Extra, extra, read all about it.