I want to pass along a tidbit of wisdom that was given to me 25 years ago. It’s about how to know if you have an idea that is even worth positioning. It’s also a tried-and-true way to communicate effectively in just about any business situation, and as I will illustrate it works on Sunday mornings too.
Take your new business idea, your new product, or your new service, and start by writing a sentence for each of the following five steps:
1. Problem: What problem or problems created a basis for interest in this idea?
2. Solution: How does this new idea solve the problem(s)?
3. Benefit: What benefit(s) does the new idea offer to the target user?
4. How it works:. Describe the way the idea works or how it is used.
5. Don’t worry: Overcome the one major objection a user/buyer would have.
This template is brilliantly simple in its approach. I’ve never seen it fail. Once on a short flight between Chicago and Appleton I even enlightened a Lutheran pastor about how to use it. He was skeptical at first—he probably viewed marketing guys as something akin to the devil! Nevertheless I won him over with the following example.
1. Problem: You have sinned.
2. Solution: Ask God for forgiveness.
3. Benefit: You’ll feel a burden lifted from you.
4. How it works:. Get down on your knees and pray.
5. Don’t worry: If you sin again, you can do the whole process over.
That minister was a quick convert, and I suspect he now has a flock that is much happier with his single-minded, direct, and hopefully brief sermons.