“Don’t deliver a message, deliver an experience. People are too smart to be sold to, their choice is endless, so the experience is what can make you distinct. Show up where and when people are browsing, always use simple language and hero your services or products through stunning imagery and slick videos that people will remember. That way, when they’re ready to buy you will be remembered.”
Your single most important message should include a story about you “The Company” why you are proposing the product or service “The Requirement” and the background behind the Product or Service ” Why you should purchase this” You need to be passionate and confident about what you are selling to make the customer feel that they are buying great value and have the full information to make that choice.
Seek to solve a problem for your customer or client. Try and ask questions before you submit any material, and aim to tailor make any proposals to their needs, resolving any problems for them or demonstrating incremental opportunities. It might be a problem they didn’t even know they had….
When you submit proposals, try to think of exciting and innovative ways to send it, but it keep short, simple and relevant. You’ll make the most impact in the first few minutes.
There are numerous aspects which your marketing should encompass, to get the right message clearly across to your potential new customers. But if I had to pick the single most important aspect, from the perspective of my company, it is to convey the quality of the cars we sell and the facilities we work in. You may do the best work in the world or have the finest car for sale, but if the way you present yourself isn’t up to scratch your customers will automatically be asking themselves questions, even on a subconscious level. With polished advertising, showing the quality of the cars we sell and the top class facilities we work, it immediately gives people confidence in what we do, the values we embrace and the passion we have for our business. People formulate an opinion on a company they have never used simply from their website and advertising, so make the best possible introduction, which will give future customers confidence in who you are and what you do.
Who you really are, what you genuinely stand for and what you honestly believe. Most businesses write what they think their prospective clients/customers would want to hear. By doing so they often end up with customers they don’t want to work with, and/or relying on price as a sales lever. Stand for something and be authentic and you end up attracting the types of customers you actually want.
Jane HarperHarper Recruitment Group - Managing Director
OUR WONDERFUL PEOPLE. AS RECRUITMENT PROFESSIONALS, OUR PEOPLE SHOULD BE THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS. RECRUITING LIKE MINDED INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE SKILLED AND DEDICATED PROFESSIONALS IN THEIR OWN FIELDS OF EXPERTISE IS WHAT OUR WONDERFUL PEOPLE DO BEST. AS A RECRUITER IF YOU CANNOT DEMONSTRATE YOUR ABILITY TO CHOOSE THE BEST FOR YOURSELF, HOW CAN YOU PROFESS TO RECRUIT FOR YOUR CLIENTS. OUR INDUSTRY HISTORICALLY HAS A VERY HIGH STAFF TURNOVER RATE. OURS IS EXTREMELY LOW AND SOME OF OUR WONDERFUL PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WITH US FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. PEOPLE BUY FROM PEOPLE, MAKE SURE YOURS ARE THE BEST
ENSURE YOUR SALES MATERIAL SELLS YOUR WONDERFUL PEOPLE
In my opinion, it should be completely customer centric focused. The sales message should be all about the customer, how can we help them solve their problems, what’s the impact of solving these challenges, how solving these challenges can help them attain their goals. Sales professionals need to as close to as a subject matter expert in the world of there prospects as possible.
We need to move away from presentations/demos which talk about how good “we are” and focus on truly understanding exactly how we can help the customer solve there unique problems.
What problem do you solve for your customers?
Until you get there and are easily able to articulate why you are in business and what you are there to do, you are just another part of the noise. Copying your competition, looking to see what others are doing, not knowing your why and having none of your own values.
Articulate what problems you solve quickly and efficiently. Not every customer is for you. Attract them to you don’t drag them to you.
Why should I buy from you? Get more people to know you, more people will like what you do, more people will trust you, more people will buy from you. Know your own worth and stick to it. Get a vision and articulate that to your customers. Everyone loves a vision. With a vision comes passion. With passion comes a following. With a following comes customers.
Without a doubt, your USP. It’s what makes you different to everyone else and gives the customer a reason to choose you.
It could be your product, your structure, your location, your approach – whatever it is, you need to identify what makes you special and what the benefits are if they buy from you.
I think it helps to be a little disruptive in your copy style/TOV too, so that you stand out and grab attention. Once you have your audience’s attention, you’re halfway there. So think about the structure of your sales material. Get people’s attention with a bold headline, a short, sharp statement on your USP. Then you can elaborate and develop the overall proposition. Finally, a call to action at the end, and a reason for Why now?’. And don’t forget to make it easy for people to get in touch. It sounds obvious, but you would be amazed how hard it is sometimes.
Remember your sales material is aimed at prospects rather than clients, so focus your messaging on how you can solve the problems a prospect is likely to be facing rather than those of a client; they are not always the same!
Tells the customer exactly what you do in an efficient and concise manner. Nobody cares that the business was founded in 1985 and has 23 offices across 5 locations blah blah blah. Tell the customer what they want to hear and what the purpose is of the service/product that the business controls. Be open an honest and keep it brief. Who looks into when Steve Jobs launched Apple – all they want is he device that delivers their solution. Keep it brief.
You need to start with communicating an understanding and intelligence of the customer needs you are aiming to solve, but in reality I don’t think that alone is enough.
In a sea of sameness, it needs to be coupled with a clear and confident articulation of what makes your solution different, urgent and worthy of people’s time.
Finally, humanity’s often lacking, so getting away from cliches, and being human, authentic and empathetic is also really important, especially if you are in the service business and looking to start a relationship with your customer.
That’s three things in the end. But they’re all pretty key.
You should be clear about what you would like people to do next.
Your call to action should be visible, relevant and authentic, and offer some value to the person you are asking to act.
That’s the most important thing, but it does help if you engage them with messages 2 and 3; message 2 should be a clear description of your product’s functional benefits – what it does and why it is great.
Your last message needs to engage people on an emotional level. You might not be able to make them love you in one piece of communication, but you can start them on the road to love.
During this period of change that we are undergoing, one tool has become more visible in our industry, over all else, and that is honesty. Coronavirus has forced the hand of many agencies and brands to take immediate action and not to procrastinate. Whether this be questioning the benefit of an expensive, large office or bringing forward a marketing decision that has until now been in the balance. Brands and agencies alike no longer have the time or resource to beat around the bush, not to be direct or to confabulate extensively. Honesty, our hand forced by the economic climate, is now actually the prized attribute in our business dealings.
Conversations between supplier and purchaser are more open, cleaner and more efficient. Support from big to small is offered and understanding of the uniquely challenging situation we find ourselves in is shared. There is simply no other alternative course.
But how does this honesty manifest itself in our sales material?
It does so through ‘benefit’.
Benefit to the consumer. An honest exchange of wares. No blurred lines, no wool over eyes, no slight of hand.
Your sales material should honestly explain the benefit to the consumer. Yes, dress it up, make it pretty, explain why you are the best, but be honest.
Honesty is the new currency post COVID and it is what will make your message rise to the top.
In an economic climate affected by a global pandemic, brands are nervous more than ever when planning where and how to spend their marketing budgets. When introducing a brand to a new channel such as Gaming, evidence that the platform is effective and well received is imperative.
Brand Uplift studies or an Eye-Tracking study that can prove users do in-fact look at the ads in game and that they prefer the ad placements over intrusive, non-native placements gives brands confidence that they are making a sound investment.
In my opinion, solid evidence compiled by a reputable 3rd party that proves your tech/offering is effective, is the single most important message your sales material should communicate.
To not forget the “What’s in it for me” (WIIFM). Any audience only really cares about what they are being told if it has an impact on them and their decision. Fro example does a client really care how big their agency is or do they care what buying power they have and how it will benefit them and the rates they will pay.
I always think of opera when it comes to planning Marcomms. No, not Carmen or the Nutcracker (although that depends on what the creative work looks like!) . But AIDA. However it is an acronym of the process that sellers going through on the purchase cycle; Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. So we always have to consider where on that cycle is the particular customer you are aiming at and then ensure that you hit them with the right message. If they are existing customers, then you can focus more on the Action eg by running a price offer, or a deal with a deadline. But there is no point talking about price to someone who has never even heard of you, eg a new prospect. We need to get their Attention and their Interest in what we offer, and that is usually via showcasing a Benefit- in our case it is the fact that we can save them the risks of running prize promotions without taking appropriate legal and compliance advice. We use the emotion of ‘helping promoters to sleep at night’ to gain their interest in what we can do for them. It seems to work !
In the decade I’ve been an agency leader, I’ve found that the single most important message is one that achieves an emotional connection. Much of this can be through the personality of the presenter delivering it, but when it is not delivered in person, then making sure it speaks to the audience’s pains/gains that span both emotional and rational reasons are really important. B2B Marketing Magazine report that 95% of the decision-making behind our purchases are driven by emotions, so gathering insight into your audience in advance means you can craft messaging that is relevant and impactful. Not only that, but when you have b2b marketing that you are proud of, then you enjoy presenting it too, which always comes across and builds more empathy in a vicious circle of positivity.
Communicating the Next steps! Always what’s next!? How do I buy? Or how can I take this to the next level. I often see proposals that bamboozle – give too many options, and even when it’s clear sometimes there is no obvious way to advance the discussion and push closer to a sale. It’s the customers experience of the sales process – each step gives them a clue on what it will be like to buy, and work with you, leaving them lost, or worse, asking for what to do next is a really easy way to accidentally introduce those feelings of uncertainty and confusion. Being a tech company and loving talking about tech and fancy widgets we fall foul of this all too many times ourselves!
Conveying trust in your sales material is key to building long-lasting relationships. Therefore, I would say it is essential to be authentic and communicate your values. Many of the sales proposals I have seen conventionally focus heavily on the ‘features and benefits’, but I believe that building trust is now more critical than ever.
Directly address the main pain points and challenges your target customers face and demonstrate empathy and understanding. Follow this with how your product / service can relieve those pain points and include real life examples of how you have done it for others. Customers want a sales narrative they can relate to, where they can recognise their own situation and see an obvious solution.
For a technology company creating sales material, it is very easy to fall into a trap of getting very technical on the audience explaining lots of features. In our experience sales material should contain information of business benefits, improvements and any added value that your products / solution provide. Customers are interested in reducing risk and cost, but improving service level agreements and offerings. Material should include examples of a companies design, deployment and support methodology with examples of cost saving
and improvements made by other similar customers. The material needs to be concise, showing example analytics . One certainty is change will happen, embracing change and becoming agile to lead we give competitive advantage. Demonstrating how this can achieved is more important than a technical features white paper.
How is your content going to help the customer? Put yourself in your customers shoes and when you read the story that your sales material describes does it answer the question “what’s in it for me?” Does it explain how your product or service is going to help, benefit, or solve the needs of your customers? Can they save money by buying today? Will they look healthier because of your workout? When there is a clear answer to Whats in it for me? you’re good to go.
Everything you do must inspire action in the people who matter most, and when it comes to sales material the only people that matter are your customers and prospects.
Your sales collateral should communicate who you are, what you do, and how you can help. But more importantly “WHY” the prospect or customer should get in touch. What’s in it for them? How will it be of benefit? And what will they gain?
If you can make the “WHY” clear, you’ll stand out from the crowd and consequently get more enquiries. There are lots of brands out there telling WHAT they do, but very few tell you “WHY” they do it.
There are many important messages to communicate in sales material, but if I were to pin point a single one it would be to communicate the why/how your products or services will add to value to the purchaser.
Trust. In the consultancy business, in particular in oil and gas, you must develop a client base for the long run. They must rest assured from day 1 that you are there to defend their interest, suggest a course of action that best serves their objective and accompany them along the way to make the necessary adjustments. You should be the first one to warn them when your advise has been wrong and suggest how to resolve it.
In my experience you need to fully understand your buyer and anticipate his needs.
Follow on with delivering the product or service as promised, within the time scale given and above all at the price agreed.
Service is everything…..
Remember also the old adage that “people buy off people”.
Try to build a personal relationship with your buyer not necessarily just connected with business, talk about common interests outside of the work zone and not just the order…
Pick up the phone and talk to your buyer – it will work so much better than an email.
Try to see your business from your potential customers perspective – what benefit do they get from your product or service. An all too common mistake we all make is selling what we think people want from our own viewpoint. Get friends and existing customers to tell you why they would or did use your product or service and then find a way of incorporating that information in to your sales material.
Always consider the needs of the customer first and the benefits you bring to the sale; repeat business and referrals are worth significantly more than the cost and effort required in finding new customers all the time. Adopt a blend of marketing platforms and messages and, wherever possible, collect metrics to analyse and optimise your marketing. Build your relationship with customers and keep your communications timely and appropriate as there is also a fine line between relevance and unwanted attention. If you are not a marketeer then engage with a reputable agency and set targets for results based on profitable leads not just impressions and likes, leads are seeds for growth. I would also advise adopting a customer relationship management software tool to keep records and drive conversions, then you will have a genuine customer base on which to build your business. If you are negotiating a deal make sure it is a Win/ Win outcome, no-one appreciates being ripped off and you will not get a good referral either; bad news travels fast and a poor reputation is difficult to overcome. Finally know when to say no and never give up.
With whatever you have to sell – a product or a service – you must create a ‘I Desire It, I Need It, I Want It, I Can’t Live Without It’ feeling amongst your potential customer base. Price becomes irrelevant. Make the potential purchasers feel that they are going to become part of ‘something’ special and for life, an exclusive or elite club of owners.
Build a great team and systems that give clear process to your customer journey. Do not be scared to surround yourself with people that have more knowledge than you in key areas, engage with them, involve them and give all a platform to flourish and grow. Invest in your people and they will invest in your business, provide great systems and that will drive your business to consistent delivery of results. Start with the end GOAL in mind and always work towards that with your team. Share your vision.