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What's Your Hook?

Would you remember a photographer who introduced himself by saying: "If you feel like shooting your relatives, call Photos By Tom"? Or how about a hairstylist with the motto: "If your hair isn't becoming to you, you should be coming to me"?

Dr. Ivan Misner, a college professor and entrepreneur who heads up Business Network International (BNI) in San Dimas, California, a large networking organization, believes hooks like these keep you in prospects' minds long after you've met them.

"Businesses can develop 50 to 90 percent of their sales through networking and the referrals it generates," says Misner, author of Seven Second Marketing (Bard Books). "The key to getting those referrals is twofold. First, you must provide a top-notch product or service; second, you must make it as easy as possible for people to remember your name. A memory hook is an excellent way to accomplish that."

A memory hook is a brief statement about you and your business, which you should use within the first seven seconds of meeting someone.

Seven Second Marketing offers more than 200 examples of real-life businesspeople who are using memory hooks to market their businesses. The book offers tactics anyone can use to develop a memory hook, including how to use humor, word play, puns and rhymes. For instance, a hot tub company describes itself this way: "We want to get you in hot water." You get the idea.

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