Skip to main content

A good mystery writer will create suspense and intrigue in the first chapter, if not on the first page. They’ll hook you with something that makes you want to keep reading. Some will be in a who-done-it format, and others will let you know upfront who the bad guy/gal is and track both until they meet at the end.

Think about this in your day-to-day business. Not necessarily creating suspense but generating immediate interest (as in, your first impression). Here are some areas I see regularly.

  • Business buyers must make a dynamic impression on sellers (or the intermediary). This includes showing ability, personality, and wherewithal to not only do the deal but run the company, preserving the owner’s legacy.
  • In a crazy job market those hiring must demonstrate why their opportunity is exciting and offers career advancement. The same goes for job applicants. Can’t coast, still have to present their “A” game.
  • Business sellers must be able to show growth opportunities. I have never worked with a business buyer who said, “I want to buy a business and keep it where it is.” Nope. They use words like scale, grow, expand, etc.
  • Customers, along with employees, are the lynchpin of every business. It’s competitive out there so we all must present a good reason why prospective customers should do business with us (and why existing customers should keep doing business with us).

The above seems pretty basic and yet too many people forget these basics. If you’ve read Daniel Pink’s book, To Sell Is Human, you know that we are all selling something. Some “sales” is prevalent everywhere, from mystery writers wanting you to keep reading to business meetings and in our personal lives.

“We have been trained too long to strive but not to enjoy.” John Maynard Keynes

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton