Strategy and Communication: The 15 second test

Can you pass the 15 second test?

We all work in a world crowded with competitors and it is important for any business to be able to answer the question ‘What makes you different?’ in a crisp succinct attention grabbing manner.

It’s an important question when it comes from a potential client because it is a screening question – in other words – it is a question designed to help screen out potential suppliers that might not make the grade.  When I ask this question in 90% of cases I get a long and rambling reply and my mind drifts away during those vital 15 first seconds.  So if you can’t identify what your organisation does and how it can make a real difference to a client in 15 seconds then you could be screened out.

To help construct your answer think about:

  • What are the key issues of the moment for organisations in your target market – what is keeping them awake at night?
  • How your organisation can create value for a client in a way that your competitors cannot.

Then compose a short statement that entices your potential client to ask “Tell me more …”

Many of my potential clients are long-established organisations facing the challenge of new entrants with different and revolutionary mindsets so my answer to the what makes you different question is:

“Changing the way your organisation thinks.”

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