Every Tuesday, sales expert Andy Bounds shares his top tips to improve your sales and communications. This week’s is…
Structure communications the Apple Store Way
In Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, he tells an interesting story about the Apple Stores…
Just before they opened the first one, after months of planning, they recognised they needed to make a fundamental change to their planned layout. Their original idea had been to organise the store around their product lines – ‘go here if you want to see everything about iMacs’. But, they realised that customers would prefer stores to be organised around their hobbies – ‘go here if you want to see everything about videos and films’.
So, they re-configured the stores, grouping everything from the customer’s point of view, rather than their own. As we all know, their stores have gone on to become a huge success.
Like many of the best ideas, when you read this one, it just sounds so obvious. Of course you’d lay things out from the recipient’s viewpoint.
But, when communicating, people often don’t do this. For instance, look at the headings on most websites – “about us”, “our products”, “our services” and so on. Similarly, presentations focus on the reader’s thought patterns/chronological story – “the background”, “our approach” – rather than the audience’s priorities.
To ensure you configure your communications the ‘Apple Store Way’:
• identify the topics your audience is most interested in
• use these as your main headings
• cut and paste your content under these headings
• make any final tweaks, to ensure it reads as you want (this step often includes removing some content that turns out not to be needed)
These four steps shouldn’t be too much extra work – after all, once you’ve identified the headings, it’s mainly a cut and paste exercise – but will make all the difference to them, and therefore to you.
Apple Stores are widely respected for their customer focus… and also for how successful they are. Are you?
For your next important communication, re-order your message following the four steps. If you feel it improves the flow, use the new version. Once you’ve done it this way a couple of times, it feels much
more natural to you… and to them.
Want to receive Tuesday Tips every week? Please click here
Know people who’d benefit from reading this Tip? Please forward it on.
Did you find this Tip useful? Please click here and let Andy know.
Emma Merry(PA): +44 (0) 7900 217 929
T: +44 (0) 151 231 6110
F: +44 (0) 151 231 6118