by William Buist | Feb 24, 2020 | Business
Signposts are a powerful tool when building better business. Using them effectively is a delicate craft. Put your sign up too early, or in the wrong place, and the deal never happens, too late and it falls apart. The right, well designed signpost at the right time clears away uncertainty and builds trust. Put too much information on your signs or use the wrong tone, and there’ll be heads shaking instead of hands.
Why Use Signposts?
Signposts are like chapters of a story, and who doesn’t love a good story? By placing signposts at the right intervals, you keep the audience engaged. Signposts help reinforce your message and emphasise the main points of your presentation. Just as road signs guide you to your destination, signposts in business should guide audiences to the conclusion that they trust you to solve the challenges they have, and support them grabbing the opportunities they see.
Signposts Provide Security
Whether you’re driving to a new city or listening to a presentation for the first time, there’s an element of uncertainty. That keeps us on guard. When you present a business proposal, you want your audience to have confidence in your idea, to know with certainty that signing a contract with you will bring them good fortune. You need to provide the signs that confirm your main points, present supportive visuals, invite clarifying questions, and reinforce your selling points. When you establish yourself firmly as an expert, your audience will be more likely to relax, trust in your judgment, and join your team.
Attention Is Hard to Keep; Easy to Lose
We’ve all had that one person we know that drones on and on. There were no transitions between topics or breaks to ask questions. After a while, the words started to blend together and lose meaning. Our attention is lost. In business, a boring presentation is a failed one. Keep your audience engaged with impactful quotes, colourful visuals, clever metaphors, and anything you can think of to make your presentation more digestible and interesting. Change the energy, remind them of where you are, and then lift the mood by signposting where you could be. While it’s best to keep presentations short and sweet, signposts can keep longer ones going strong.
Make It Funny and Relatable
Business is more than deals, briefcases, and office jargon. It’s about people. People need to relate to one other, they want to feel appreciated, and even have a raucous laugh now and then. No matter how compelling your product or service, you won’t get clients without trust. Anecdotes, jokes, and amusing, relevant, videos all make you more approachable and trustworthy. You might praise an employee’s work or shout out a friend or family member who inspired you. Self-deprecating jokes often win the audience over, yet take care to use that approach sparingly. Get the audience involved. All of these signs help create a positive atmosphere and establish you as someone not just that they can, but that they will, trust.
Remind people of the journey they have taken, and the final destination they are heading towards. Then the last and most important sign you want to place is the call to action. Be clear, so that you make the action that is needed obvious and easy.
When you plan and place well designed, appropriate signs with confidence, you’ll be on your way to building better business. If you want an assessment of your progress, check out the free business audit.
by William Buist | Feb 12, 2020 | Business
I’ve talked about signposts and signposting in a previous blog. As I’ve discussed, it’s important to know where you’re going even if you don’t know exactly how you’ll get there. When you’re headed to the beach, you might have 10 different paths or roads that you could take to get there, yet you always know the general direction in which you’re heading, and that nice lazy day in the sun listening to gently breaking waves remains your intended destination.
In business too, if you have a clear strategy, a goal to aim at you’ll reach your destination more easily by following clear signposting.
Are your signposts clear?
Signposts give us clear communication and clarity of direction, but only if they are clear, concise, contextual, and relevant. It’s the means by which you know you’re on the right road. The same is true in business. It doesn’t really matter if you end up taking detours along the way as long as you keep an eye on your end goal, while you proceed with a sense of purpose and certainty. You’ll get there, even if it might take a bit longer than you’d first envisioned. Clear signposts don’t tell you everything, they just tell you what you need right now, in order to keep moving forward in the right direction.
Yet we don’t just need clear signposts for ourselves, we need to be providing clear signposts to our clients and suppliers too, so that they know what to expect, when, and in what way. That way we help them stay on their journey too.
How Does the Use of Signposts Change as You Journey?
Signposts aren’t the same at every point of the journey. They change and evolve. As you travel they give different information and guide you even if you are in unfamiliar territory. Detours that you are forced to take might make the road more scenic, but you’re still using the signposts to ensure that you are heading in the right general direction, albeit perhaps with more potholes or off-road tracks. That’s the same way you can see your business.
You trust the journey you’re taking with your business, but you also need an eye for the signposts to reinforce that you really are headed where you need to be. You might be in the fast lane and then have to take a detour. It might be a bit rocky sometimes, but you can trust in the signposts along the way the direction you are heading in will get you to your destination.
Where You Are
Signposts offer a gauge to your progress. You’ve got a clear picture of where you’ve been, but also where you are right now. We can’t read the future to know if the path might get rocky or smoother down the road, but we can move forward with confidence and assurance. Don’t forget to give your clients the signposts they need to know where they are too.
That’s where the Action comes in. It’s not enough to simply continue on the path, you need to make course corrections, based on your measurements of progress, your sense of direction and the conditions you find yourself in.
How Does Signposting Inspire Confidence and Trust?
Great signposts give you clarity on where you are going. The signs you provide for others give them the clarity they need and when clarity in communication and direction inspires confidence.
Your business can stand up to the rough patches when you continue to gauge your direction, confirm where you are, and continue to take action. Your clients will keep coming back to you for what you do if they know, from your signposts, where they are, with clarity, certainty and confidence.
Are the signposts you need clear to you? Are the ones you give others clear to them?