The art of persuasion involves a complex system of effective communication and tact in approach. Like a great sales pitch, written sales language needs most of the same finesse that a sales pitch would need if presented in person. Since a person cannot read your body language and expressions or hear the tone of your voice, it is imperative that your writing conveys the appropriate tone and message for which you want your target audience to receive.
Developing a Process
- Determine method of distribution
Sales and marketing communications can be distributed through various means. Email, social media, website landing pages, a phone call – determining which method of distribution is best suited for the message you wish to convey will dictate the type of language to be used.
For example, you would probably not write an email the same way you would write a script for a phone call. An email is less personal than a phone call and a conversation elicits an immediate reaction from a person than an email would, which requires unscripted responses. In an email, you might focus more on a witty subject line that captures a prospect’s attention and entices them to keep reading. In a phone call, you might focus more on a conversational approach to personalize the discussion and setting it up for a smoother transition to a product or service offer.
- Find the “What”
The first part of the process is identifying what the problem is. Focus on one specific problem. Addressing too many problems or the makeup of a larger issue can complicate the value of your solution. In selecting your focus, you will discover how your product or service can solve the problem.
Once you have the general picture of what is at stake, you can work on refining the details. The target audience should be geared towards the client and/or industry you’re hoping to help. Each message should be customized to such prospective client/industry. It may be more work, but your efforts will convey your commitment to your purpose.
Next, define your goal. Your goal should be straightforward with a strategy in place to achieve it. In defining your goal, you should ask yourself questions like, “What product or service do I want to sell more of?” and “Do we have an upcoming event or service-related training that could benefit clients with this specific issue?” Your goal should communicate the purpose of your contact. Do your due diligence in this regard. Find something intriguing, such as something your competitor is doing that you do better. Or perhaps you might discover there was an update to recent legislation that effects the services or products a client provides. This could be a prime time to reach out and not only notify them, but offer a solution that provides a smooth transition and compliance with the new legislation.
- Discuss the “How”
A great approach to addressing the question “How can I help?” is to understand a client’s fears and key concerns. Empathize and strategize solutions that combat those fears and doubts. For example, with technology booming and cybersecurity becoming a hot spot issue for companies, capitalize on a recent data breach. Throw out a scary statistic relating to the topic, and then follow up with an alluring solution your company can provide.
One method could be learning how to execute the service and then personalize it. This could very well fall under the category of doing your due diligence, but essentially, you can look to your competitors and leaders in your industry that offer similar products and services. Where a competitor or leader differentiates themselves from you, taking that difference and tailoring it to suit your brand can push you to the forefront of your competition.
For example, Uber and Lyft are both rideshare service providers. Uber is known to have better features and expansive availability, but Lyft capitalizes on transparency in receipts of details of a trip allowing an elaborate explanation of prices.
DoorDash and Postmates are another example of competitors in the food delivery industry. The two have competing pay scales that vary by factors determining fees and wages earned. DoorDash has a set payout per delivery, no matter the size of delivery, but offers other income-raising methods. Conversely, Postmates’ pricing is based on pickup, drop-off, mileage, and minutes driven.
Identifying and understanding what divides your services and products from your competitors can help you capitalize on developing a strategy to incorporate a similar solution tailored to your company.
Another technique could be offering new, updated, and/or continued education, tools, and training providing additional resources for prospective clients to expand their expertise. These resources could be offered on a promotional basis giving incentive to act now. Or the resources could be offered on a trial basis where clients can have a limited timeframe or “sneak peek” of the education, tools, and training provided to see if its worthwhile.
The main takeaways in proposing resolutions is (1) the solution solves the topic of concern and (2) the solution maintains the brand’s objective and value.
- Propose the “Who” and the “Why”
Here’s where an elevator pitch will come in handy. If you have an elevator pitch ready, inserting it in your call to action is the perfect opportunity. Your call to action is your blinking neon sign to prospective clients. It needs to pack a punch. In setting up your call to action, highlight benefits of this irresistible offer. One way to set up an effective call to action is to present questions that seeks a minor commitment. Or you could take the approach of urgency or scarcity by placing a deadline, which can also elicit a modest pledge from the prospective client.
- Keep it simple and concise. Written communication can oftentimes be misconstrued by readers. To avoid this, be sure to use an active voice (i.e., “All services are going to be delivered by the Company” (passive voice) vs. “The Company will deliver all services” (active voice). Try to avoid any fluff or jargon that could potentially convolute the message you’re trying to convey or cause your tone to become stiff or condescending.
- Utilize your existing arsenal of resources. If your company collects testimonials from current or past clients, incorporate those into a compelling story to catch the attention of the target audience. Don’t be afraid to put a little oomph in your message as it can showcase your spunky personality and allow you to be perceived as relatable and empathetic of a potential client’s problems. Forming an authentic connection with the target audience is critical to establishing their trust and interest.
- Cover the basics. You may be overcome with excitement after a new product or service launch and want to get that message out to potential leads, but don’t forget to cover the basics! Something as easy as a typo or missed punctuation mark can be the reason someone discredits you as a valid service provider. Reading your message out loud is one of the simplest ways to quickly catch any typos, awkward sentences, or other grammatical errors. You could also have an outside pair of eyes take a look to skim for any grammatical and other issues that may cause a reader to question the message being conveyed. Another great way to test reception of the message is to take a trial run. Circulate the message to internal staff and invite them to provide constructive feedback. You might be surprised by the feedback you receive.
Writing effective sales language is a craft of its own and takes time to refine. If you’re struggling or would like additional help with improving your current processes, contact Insured Solutions. We can offer valuable resources to enhance your sales techniques and continue your company’s success.