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Define Your Intention

Posted August 19, 2012 by Terri Sjodin in Archive, Book Launch, Public Speaking, Sales Presentations, Small Message Big Impact, The Elevator Speech, Training and Development

We received such great feedback from last week’s post that we thought we would share another excerpt from SMBI. Chapter 2: Define Your Intention. Hope you like it! 

To reach any goal or realize any dream, you must first define your intention. What do we mean by intention? I have researched this concept, and my favorite explanation comes from Dr. Wayne Dyer in his book The Power of Intention (Hay House, 2004).

Dyer puts forth what he called “a fairly common definition of intention as a strong purpose or aim, accompanied by a determination to produce a desired result.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines intention as “a course of action that one intends to follow; an aim that guides action; an objective.”

So what is the desired result of your Elevator Speech or brief message? It’s not to close the deal; it’s to start a conversation.

I recently shared this idea with one of my dearest friends, Brad McMillen, who is a former state championship quarterback turned Internet sales executive. He offered this analogy:

When you mentioned your concept of the three- minute elevator speech and intention, the word “intention” reminded me of when I was playing football. Our intention was to score, eventually. As quarterback, I would go to the line, ready to throw a pass. I had a system of reads, depending on the defense. The first option was to throw long. If that was covered, as I dropped back to throw, I looked at my secondary option. If he was covered, I threw to my third option. If he was covered, I just threw the ball away or ran for my life.

In the end, I kept the same overall intention— score points with my team. This progression is called checking down, and it’s what quarterbacks do. They check down but always with the ultimate goal of getting to the end zone. The point is you don’t have to score on every play, just advance the ball. Similarly, the point of the three- minute elevator speech is not to close the deal. Its goal is to advance you to the next point in your sales process.

It’s beneficial to keep your intention in mind at all times, not solely for when you have a presentation on the horizon. When you strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know, that person doesn’t have to be a designated target. Simply keep your message out there, sharing it with people who know other people. Your message is like your song, and you have to let it be heard. Believe in it, share it, and eventually, it becomes a natural part of your communication. As writer and lecturer Joseph Campbell says, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”

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