September 2, 2014

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business

Help customers "get it" with new ways to communicate value

Solve the communication problem by using better means of communication.

Ron Stein | 1/21/2013

Have you ever thought, “They don’t get it” referring to a prospect or customer? I have a confession: there was a time where I found myself uttering that often. But no more.

Don’t get me wrong -- there are lots of people out there who really don’t understand how you can help them. But is that their fault?

There’s a reason that the person on the other side of the table is missing the point. More than likely your prospect is a reasonably intelligent person. There’s a disconnect somewhere and the burden is on you to figure it out -- instead of getting frustrated.

When you tell yourself or others in your company “They don’t get it”, all you are doing is justifying why giving up is the only course of action. That kind of thinking is reckless and will only keep the revenue from flowing.

The two most common problems in selling situations are communications and resistance to change. That makes the role of marketing one of a change agent.

Don’t blame your audience when they seem to be on another planet -- they’re not. Here are three keys to communicating ideas to others more effectively.

Fix the problem, not the blame. Your audience has absolutely no obligation to figure out what you can do for them on their own. You have the responsibility to find out why your prospects are not getting on board with your offering. Shift your frame of mind -- think about how you can have the greatest influence on the way your audience responds. Maybe your message is confusing. Or the benefits of changing and the prospects true hot buttons aren’t intersecting. Your presentation is simply too long and boring. Perhaps you are “telling” instead of engaging with your audience. Whatever it is, figure it now.  

There are always many points of view. The more you recognize the better you’ll see the issues the way your prospects see them. The importance of researching your customers’ problems and listening to what they’re telling you can’t be over emphasized. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you know what’s best. Even if you did, it will come across as arrogant and turn prospects off, only frustrating you more. Know who your idea customers are and the hurt they want to make go away. Then have a dialog where you dive deeper while providing an education to your point of view.

Explore new ways of communicating value. Start by thinking in terms of headlines. Why? When we’re excited about all the good things we can do for our customers, we tend to over-explain. When that happens, the message is muddled and the value gets lost. Instead, develop short statements that identify the immediate benefits you offer. Theses points become your core message themes that you’ll weave into written, visual, and face-to-face communications -- reword the same points over and over again. Connect these directly to the audience’s problems and a promise to fix these with your solution. On your website, in marketing material, and in presentations couple these headlines with photos, graphics, or videos that strongly link to the promise made. It’s true -- a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Your audience will get it when you connect your benefits to their immediate needs -- clearly and quickly. Keep your message consistent so it sticks. Create a two-way conversation and provide education along the way.

Take a hard look at your marketing and selling to find better ways of communicating so that your prospects DO get it.


Read earlier columns from Florida Trend's business coach, Ron Stein
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Ron Stein is the founder and President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He has more than 20 years experience in sales, marketing, and business development, working positions ranging from salesman to vice president of sales and marketing to CEO of startups with industry leaders such as Motorola, VideoServer, Paradyne, and SercoNet. Ron is a member of the advisory team at the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, a nationally recognized entrepreneurial and startup accelerator for the state of Florida. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com

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