Are You “Rutless?”

Billy Crystal and Debra Winger starred in the 1993 film, Forget Paris, which was the mostly forgettable story of a vertically-challenged NBA referee and his wife. What made the film memorable for me was a restaurant scene in which Billy’s character orders a meal and Debra comments that he always orders the same dish.

“You’re in a rut,” she tells him. He justifies his choice saying that he knows what he likes, but the comment rankles. Flash forward to the film’s end and you see Billy and Debra at the same restaurant but Billy orders something new. “I’m rutless,” he declares.

The thought of being “rutless stuck with me. Or, to get with the theme of this post, its message was sticky!

Chip and Dan Heath, in their book Made to Stick, wrote about The Curse of Knowledge and how once you know something you can’t unknow it. We’ve explored the notion of making our writing sticky and simple. In this post, we’ll continue our exploration of the six principles you can use to connect with your ideal clients.

You didn’t see that coming

The second principle we’ll explore is the notion of making your writing unexpected. Can you take a common notion and twist it around somehow to more effectively make your point resonate? For one of my favorite examples of “unexpected,” watch this YouTube video.

How did you feel after watching the video? Did it surprise you at all? What made this commercial sticky?

Now You Try

Grab your newly modified — and simple — elevator pitch. Can you add an element of the unexpected?

Here’s a video I recorded to highlight the principle of unexpected.

I’d love to connect with you to chat about how to make your words attract your ideal clients. Schedule a FREE 60-minute breakthrough session with me.



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