Show and Tell – SXSW Inspired


Photo credit: woodleywonderworks

It has been a busy few days here at SXSW. There are thousands of people, representing thousands of companies. There are hundreds of sponsors and hundreds of sessions and panels. One thing that has contributed to who I can really connect with and who I am just meeting is their ability to show me why they (or their company) is doing it right.

Show vs. Tell

Anyone can tell you how great they are. Anyone can tell you how cool their business is. Anyone can tell you they have ridden an elephant, but can they show you?

As a business, it would be in your best interest to be able to show potential business partners and customers why they should do business with you.

3 ways to show people why they should do business with you

  1. Numbers, numbers, numbers – Numbers are the only universal language. If you are the best at something or ran a successful promotion, be able to back it up with some data. The only way to back your story up with numbers is to be measuring as you go. For any project or campaign, decide the metric you are going to use to measure your success (or lack there of) before you start. Keep up with the data and have something to show for your efforts when you are done.
  2. Testimonials and Referrals – Have a place on your website for client testimonials (real ones, not ones you make up) and keep it updated. One of the best ways to show someone how good your work is, is to let them hear it from someone else.
  3. Experience – There is something to be said for a company that has been in business 5, 7, 10+ years. The last 10 years have been wild with the advances in technology, government, what people want, how they want it et al. Nothing against startups and entrepreneurs, but it is easy to create a business around the current big thing. It is hard to take your business and be able to change with the times while staying true to your values and putting out great products and services.

Of course you need to be able to talk the talk and tell people quickly what you do and why you do it well – but try to have some easy ways to show them too. Let them decide what is fact and what is propaganda. Make sure you can stand out from the other peacocks showing their feathers with some data, testimonials and experience.