What is it that makes a song memorable? It’s those few notes that so clearly define it and make it stand out from every other song. The example that comes to mind for me is “Stairway to Heaven” and it’s unique guitar intro. I’m always amused when I’m at a concert where they might be playing folk or reggae or something on the opposite spectrum from “Stairway to Heaven” and the guitar player just plucks out those signature notes. Everyone in the audience stops. They stop because they know that’s the “hook” for “Stairway to Heaven”. They stop because “Stairway to Heaven” might not be a song you expect to hear at a reggae concert. Regardless. For a moment, they stop.

Every Business Needs a Hook

A hook is the unique combination of notes and rhythm that a song needs to have life. A song without a hook just lies flat. Your business needs a hook. And just like the hook of a song – your business hook is often this indescribable combination of features, benefits and solutions to customers’ pains and frustrations. It’s up to you as the creator and the songwriter of your business to come up with a hook that resonates and makes your target audience stop.

Start With Peeves, Passions and Frustrations

Draw a rather large circle on a piece of paper. Make the circle big enough so that you can write all kinds of words in it – maybe even draw some basic pictures or icons as well. Give the circle the name “My Customers’ World”.

Now put yourself in the mind of your customer. Picture them clearly going about their day.

  • What is it that they are committed to during their day?
  • What defines excellence for them?
  • What are the things that thwart their being excellent as far as your product or service is concerned?

Mining this kind of information is literally GOLD for your business. Remember, your customer isn’t thinking about your product or service, they are thinking about what they need to be successful. Then as they go through that, there are things that come up that STOP them from being successful.

This is when they start looking for solutions to what’s stopping them. This is where they start self diagnosing. The company that is THERE at this moment and that uses the words to what their problem is and gives them a solution will go to the top of the list.

Draw another large circle on another piece of paper. Label this circle “My World”. This is where you get to list all the cool stuff you product or service does.

Don’t be shy. List each button, each feature, each doo-dad. Write down each process, each question you ask, each special little thing you do. Then write down all the reasons that you do it exactly that way. Don’t think about the customer right now – just think about why you do what you do. You have reasons — write them down.

Look for overlaps. Now, take a look at the circle labeled “My Customers’ World” and

  • Pick out the ONE thing that you KNOW frustrates them and keeps them from being the best they can be.
  • Place that ONE obstacle that keeps them from being their best in the intersection between the two circles.
  • Then look at the circle labeled “My World” and find the ONE item that most closely solves their problem.

What do you see?

What you should see is the perfect marriage between frustration and solution. If you don’t like what you see or it doesn’t excite you — don’t worry. Go back to the circles and try again. Mix and match your world with your customers world until you hit on the perfect HOOK.

I’ve created a worksheet that should help: DOWNLOAD the Unique Selling Proposition Worksheet (Two Worlds) Here.