TTI Success Insights recently hosted its 30th annual international conference. Built around a concept of “people-first,” it was an event that saw world-renowned speakers and industry insiders speak about their particular area of expertise pertaining to people being the lifeblood of organizations.
For this writer, my first TTI SI conference transposed faceless email addresses and folklorish industry superheroes into real people. I could finally put a face to the names of our valued network associates while creating new friendships and business relationships along the way. An ancillary benefit of attending conference was the genuine outpouring of appreciation for the TTI blog, and for each and every person who took the time to praise the blog’s value and quality, I am most grateful.
A lot went on in those two action-packed days. When the dust settled, these were the most important insights I took away from the experience.
Making personal connections may be the single most valuable insight
While I looked forward to meeting as many people as possible, I had a goal of connecting with a few members of our network partners on a more personal level; really getting to know someone and what they did for a living. I have the pleasure to say I met several people that I can now call friends, and enjoyed spending time with each one of them.
Talking American history with Joe Liss, contemplating blog topics with Bill Hurston, prognosticating football with Katherine Alsip, learning from Ron Price or admiring the energy and charisma of Jered Kalkman, some of the most valuable information I gained at conference came from the individual conversations I had with our network associates.
The one associate I had the pleasure of connecting with the most was Corrine Jameson-Kuehl of Custom Dental Solutions. Discovering we had identical DISC graphs made for a great conversation starter. Taking what we learned from the mainstage speakers, particularly Park Howell’s discussion on ABT, and immediately applying it to her business, showed the value of the conference content while having the bonus benefit of starting a new friendship.
Creating a solid ABT statement (Park Howell)
Park Howell is in the business of story. After a career working in the marketing industry, Howell started his own firm with the purpose of helping companies tell their stories more effectively. During his mainstage address, Howell talked about a very simple, yet powerful concept of creating your own “ABT” statement.
ABT stands for “and, but, therefore.” Howell’s belief is that when people are asked what they do, they tend to talk about the what and the how, but not necessarily the why. Approaching it from an ABT perspective, a person can explain what they do and how they do it, then create a point of tension that grabs the listeners attention before proposing a resolution to the conflict. Designed just like any good movie plot, you introduce yourself and what you do, make it clear why they should care and give them a reason to lean in and learn more.
When I first asked my new friend Corrine what she did, she gave me a lengthy explanation about something relating to dental industry that left me somewhat unclear. After Howell’s talk, Corrine and I began to discuss positioning her dental staffing business using the ABT format. Here is what she came up with:
With over 20 years as a Dental Clinician and as founder of a dental staffing company, I’ve encountered many private practice dental offices that provide great clinical care, but struggle with the Employee and Cultural aspects of running a small business. Therefore, Custom Dental Solutions was created to assist private practice Dentists with all management transitions, team training and business solutions.
Applying Howell’s formula allowed Corrine to be able to communicate very clearly about exactly what she does, why it matters and why someone should use her company’s services. The greatest thing about learning new information is being able to apply it right on the spot. Now Corrine has a brand new elevator pitch next time someone asks her what she does for a living.
Creating your own ABT statement
Creating your own ABT statement is quite simple, yet it may be one of the most effective things you can do to promote your company. Start by talking about WHAT you do, add on a second component that further describes your businesses’ special advantage in the market, then immediately follow that up with the BUT; the conflict statement that states why what you do is important. This will draw your listener in to learn more. Immediately thereafter, drop in your THEREFORE statement which resolves the conflict and positions yourself as the expert in your field.
Be succinct and to the point and your company’s message will become much more impactful.