Is there a three minute rule in your business?

Make a commitment to master the Three Minute Rule and I guarantee you will see your business opportunities grow.

In my professional speaking business I live by something called the 3 minute rule. It goes like this. In the first minute the audience looks at me to decide if I look smart. Do I look professional? Do I look like someone they could learn from?

In the second minute they listen. Do I sound smart? Am I saying things they want to hear? Can they learn something new and important from me?

In the final minute they feel. Does this message feel right? Is it being delivered in a format they want to receive it?

Look, listen and feel are the critical elements I bet my first impression on every time I speak. I know that if I don’t win them over quickly I will lose them. I live by the three minute rule in my business, how about you?

Have you considered what you can do to improve your first impression? I am sure your parents taught you how important first impressions are. What elements of your appearance could you improve? Weight, hygiene and personal fashion are often powerful indicators of who you really are deep inside. The hard part is, your appearance makes an impression long before your words get a chance to.

How do you sound? In my sales training program I teach students that business professionals need to open the discussion on a powerful note. So often we get tempted to talk about the weather, sports or some other topical point. What if you were to kick off the meeting with a powerful question or statement that really got your client thinking (and impressed with your knowledge)? Ask, what could you say that communicated you are knowledgeable, trusting and committed to helping them solve their problems? Opening a meeting with the weather and sports merely reinforces the idea you are just like everyone else that enters their office. You want to demonstrate that you are different!

Finally when you sit down for the meeting what are you focused on? Telling your story or hearing what the client has to say? Instead of being anxious to speak how can you lead a meeting that immediately has the client talking and feeling that you care about them and their outcome? People like to talk about themselves. What great questions can you be asking that gets them really thinking and talking about their issues and concerns?

The questions you ask is often a reflection of the depth of knowledge you possess.

This month consider the three minute rule. Your first impression is often lasting. What can you do to improve the way you look, the quality of your message and how you communicate it? Make a commitment to master the Three Minute Rule and I guarantee you will see your business opportunities grow.

PS. While you are at it… walk around your office and your car and ask what first impression are you making there as well.

Curt Skene