Sales communication Part 1

In the UK we shop online more than any other country in Europe, roughly to the tune of £30 billion a year. Due to this, your company’s website is now the most important marketing tool you have. Ruth highlights how to talk to your customers, how to describe what you do and how to be engaging online.

You can spend ££££s sending a potential customer to your site but lose them within seconds unless you engage them. After speaking to a company my next point of call is to view their website to verify and establish what they do. You would be gob smacked at how many times I am left clueless to what a company provides and most importantly why I would use them?

When I buy from a company I want to know who they are, how good they are, what they provide and most importantly why I should choose them. Based on this, when I work with a business to increase their sales, improve their marketing or online offering, I review their marketing and sales message and benchmark it against the 4 W’s. The 4 W’s are what I live and die by when starting a business and mapping out how to effectively communicate with my customers:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you provide?
  3. What makes you different!
  4. Who are you selling to?

In my opinion it is imperative all of your marketing, whether it’s print or online, has a clear, consistent message. The 4 W’s may look obvious but ask yourself how obvious they are to your potential customers. This being so, always approach your sales language as if you are a new customer.

Who are you? – Verify

This is not a simple “About Us” information piece; there is a reason to why you run your business and the customer needs to hear it. When we do this exercises with companies they often miss out the key facts that would make me buy from them. How long have they been trading, how many years of experience does the business have, the passion behind why the business started and ultimately why you do it. Make this piece personal and people focused especially if you are a service provider.

What you provide? – Inform

Take a step back from your business and explain what you provide… in simple English. Companies who describe what they do in the most complicated way make my blood boil. “We provide strategic solutions” what on earth does that mean? Sit down and map out with your team what you actually provide and communicate this in a simple way.

What makes you different? – Impress

This is the golden nugget and if you don’t know the answer to this then ring me. If your sales people can’t give you the answer then its P45 time. There is no set answer for what makes you different as it has to be specific to the business. Mine is simple, we always do what we promise to. If I say I can increase your sales I will, if I say I will save your business from going bust, I do. This is the key to closing a sales and giving you a point of difference against your competitors. Your point of difference could be price, quality, excellent customer service or speed. Knowing this is how you will convert more sales.

Who are you trying to sell to? – Relevance

It is crucial you pitch the right message to the right target group. How I identify my target groups are by looking back and establishing who and what types of companies made up my lead numbers. That is a good starting point for all businesses. Look at what converted and what didn’t. What marketing campaigns worked and what didn’t. Look at who you have sold to in the past and benchmark who your competitors aim at. This will help you agree the right message and help to shape your marketing.

Doing this exercise will give your business a clear, concise message for you to use on your website, print and all marketing material. In addition to this it will help you train and develop your sales team.

The advice I have provided so far is good and commercial but in order to improve your sales language so it really delivers I have detailed some further points in part 2 of this article.