3 – Prepare a brief description of benefits you can bring
The third principle is to get across your benefit proposition. It must be an accurate, concise and easily understood description of what you can do.
“Some years ago, I hired a football coach from a little known California university. The only reason I saw him was that he wrote such a good letter outlining what he thought he could do for us.”—owner, NFL football team
Your message has to hold the promise of tangible value on a scale large enough to warrant an investment in you. In that initial communication, you will also need to establish your credentials. Mention specific results you achieved in the past. They are the best indicators of what you can do in the future.
If you’re a VP Finance, you will obviously want to talk about how you can save money by cutting expenses. But if you want someone to get interested enough to create a job for you, you’ll stand a much better chance if you cite tangible results.
For example, your cost cutting efforts led directly to a 5% increase in profits for your present employer; or your studies showed the firm was losing a million dollars a year on three product lines they could easily drop.
When you hold out the promise for potential benefits of that size, it is obvious to the reader that you might well be worth the investment.
Likewise, if you’ve developed many successful products, that is all well and good. However, if you expect someone to create a job, you’ll stand a much better chance if you can state that you spearheaded development of three products now representing 20% of sales or that one now commands a 40% market share.
Achievements don’t have to be large, but they do have to be significant. For instance, if you are an administrative executive, you might state that you managed a smooth introduction of new systems that lifted productivity 40%.
One key point to remember is that if you have an exciting idea to communicate, it may help if you can show how someone else has al- ready used that idea successfully. Dealing with opportunities is a key job for many executives. Most don’t have enough time in the day and are predisposed to positive news from people who can help them. They will want to believe your message, so all you need do is make sure you provide positive reinforcement.
By the way, you can get your message across by phone or with a letter. Either way, make sure your “benefit proposition” is clear, easy to measure and significant; and be prepared to quickly establish your credentials.