Marketing & Sales: The Secret of the Stories

This is the second article in a 3-part series on marketing and sales, taken from the perspective of change and change readiness. In the first article, we considered that the two steps of the marketing and sales process and the goals of each step. In this article, we examine how to use communication to move a prospect towards becoming your client.

In the previous article, we considered the imperative to move prospects into greater awareness of their needs and desires, and then move them towards making the decision to work with you. We noted a list of things prospects do in these two steps of the change process. Your job is to help them to move forward and one way you can do that is through targeted communications. Here are some ideas.

Be Clear About Your Prospects’ Needs and Desires

You need to think this through and do some research. What problems do your prospects have and how do these limit them? What does it feel like to have these problems? If they could change their current reality, what would they change it to? What would they eliminate?

If you aren’t clear about issues like these, your communications will be ineffective, and no one will pay attention to you.

Be Clear About How You Can Satisfy Their Needs and Wants

Your product or service may or may not provide a total solution, but it may go a long way towards one. But you must be clear about how it does that. Again, if you are unclear of this, your communications will suffer.

Craft Your Messages

Here are some guidelines to help you with that:

  • Audience – who is the message intended for? You need to speak to a clearly defined avatar, not some general notion of a ‘good prospect’.
  • Purpose – what outcome do you want from your message? Are you raising awareness? Answering a FAQ? Trying to persuade? Asking the prospect to take some action? If you’re not clear about the purpose, the message will be random, and you won’t be able to evaluate its effectiveness.
  • Vocabulary – you need to use words that are relevant to your intended audience. Use words they would use. If you don’t know what that is, do some research.
  • Register – we’re talking about how formal or informal you should pitch your language. This needs to be appropriate to your intended audience.
  • Tone – this refers to your attitude towards your audience and the topic of the message. It could be respectful, sensitive, playful, satirical, cynical, professional, etc. This will come through your message, so make sure you get it right to impact your audience in the way you want.
  • Content – these are the ideas you want to communicate. What do you want to say to your audience? Be very clear about this. Make sure your message ends up saying what you want it to say.
  • Medium – how will you communicate your message? Through a blog post, a Facebook ad, a video on YouTube, a page on your website?
  • Structure – This is how you shape your message through the medium you choose. Make sure the structure of your message is appropriate for the medium. For example, if it’s a blog post, structure it in short sections with multiple headings.

Position Your Solution

Think about how to get across the idea that you have the solution to the prospect’s problem. What makes your solution better than others? Why should they pick you rather than someone else? What unique features can you offer? What are the key features and benefits of your solution?

Think of how you can communicate these messages to your prospects.

Empower Your Language

You want your prospect to believe you have the right solution and they can be successful at it. So, use language that builds up their confidence and belief in themselves. Be realistic about it – if your solution is that good and you can see how it would work for the prospect, let them know it. People often second doubt themselves, but you can help them make a firm decision.

Focus on Benefits

The solution you’re offering may cause some anxiety to the prospect. Remember, if they knew how to solve their problem on their own, they wouldn’t be coming to you. So, in addition to using empowering language, get the prospect to focus on the benefits of your solution. Get them to think about how great it will be when clients are lined up waiting to do business with them, or when they are travelling to an exotic destination.

Support Your Prospect

Support the prospect, but don’t smother them. Lead them towards a decision to work with you, but don’t make them feel like you’re pushing them.

Ask Lots of Questions

Lots of open-ended questions. Ask them what they want to achieve, how much they want it, when they want it, how much they intend to spend, when they want it by, etc. If you ask, they will tell. If they don’t tell, there’s a problem with trust and you need to work harder.

Review

Powerful communication is a tool to keep prospects moving forward through the two steps of change. In the next article, we consider what to do if they stop moving forward.

Written By Steve Barlow

Steve is a change fitness coach and change readiness trainer and consultant. If you would like some help with any of the ideas presented in this blog, please book a free consultation with Steve.

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