Cut Out All The Noise: How To Make Sure Your Message Is Heard
On any given day, we are bombarded with messages. We don’t even need to leave the house. Radio. TV. Internet. Email. Telephone. Mobile phone. Voicemail. Faxes. Just a few of the myriad ways advertisers can reach us.
But if we leave (the house), there is much more: Signs on buses. Signs on buses. More signs at L stops, on banks, on top of taxis, on billboards, at the local supermarket checkout counter.
Whoops! I can’t forget the newspapers despite their lagging numbers. And of course there is still mail: US mail, FedEx, UPS, DSL. The list is endless and does not seem to be diminishing.
So how can a small business, or for that matter, any business, get through all the noise? What does it take to be heard when you compete for someone’s attention?
Silence is the first thing that comes to mind. A distraction-free place to listen to what the other person is saying. A restaurant where you can talk and network without yelling. Or an office or conference room where you can talk business and everyone can listen.
A minimum of interest is the next item. The person (or people) you are talking to should be interested in what you have to say and sell. Does your service solve a problem for you? Can you communicate that in a clear and concise way? If so, it can probably get your attention. But to keep your interest, you need to dig deeper. You need to be able to answer objections, or “why shoulds” as I prefer to call them, which means you need to state your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Why should I give you my business when my current supplier is doing a decent job? Tell me how your service will make my job easier. Can you save me five hours a month of lost time? Will that free me up to make an additional five hours of cold calling? Cut me off with numbers of time saved and potential income, and I could be ready for a follow-up meeting.
You may prefer to make initial contacts by email. If so, you have different challenges. Now you need some intrigue. You need to create interest. And you must do it while maneuvering through mountains of spam.
How will you ensure that your message is opened? Do you know how to write a short and clear subject line that does not contain words that trigger the spam filter? And once it’s open, do you know how to write a short, engaging copy so that when you follow up on the phone, someone will actually listen to your speech, or better yet, pick up the phone first and call you back?
This is where good sales skills come in so handy. Knowing how to write a strong sales pitch, whether it’s by email or snail mail, is crucial.
Think of all the lousy emails you receive every day. Better yet, try this simple exercise for a few days. Pay attention to subject lines that you delete very quickly. Then look carefully at the ones you open and think about why you’re not throwing them away. You should see a pattern. The emails that are opened are from someone you know, contain information they requested, or have subject lines that are so intriguing that you CAN’T open them. That’s what you want to do to separate your emails from the ones about to be deleted.
Obviously, there is always more you can do to get your message heard. But if you start with the simple tactics outlined above, you’re off to a good start.
o Get your message across in a distraction-free environment.
o Make sure the person you are talking to has an interest in what you are selling.
o Know your PVU to be prepared for the “Why should I?”
o Create a little plot.
o Hone your sales skills, or written presentations, as well as face-to-face presentations.
Smart marketing can eliminate clutter and all the noise. You need to understand what your potential customers need and tell them how your company has the solution.