SALES

Rule No. 1: Get to the Point

If you've got something to say, say it in as few words as possible.
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This will be a short post because if it weren't, I'd be guilty of doing what I'm telling you to avoid.

All companies today are trying to do more with fewer people, which means that everybody is short on time. That's why it's crazy to load up your documents (e-mails, brochures, websites, etc.) with fancy-sounding business cliches, and unsubstantiated opinions. Nobody has time to wade through biz-blab:

"In order to focus externally, we must focus both externally and internally (customer's customer and internal alignment necessary to respond), with internal collaboration with common focus/goals by stakeholders accountable for ultimate business results oriented, optimized, and coordinated outputs, aligned around the sales cycle and with a proactive approach to higher order competency investments and being unwilling to throw deliverables over the fence to sales teams and trust results will be achieved."

Yes. That is a real sentence from a real business document that somebody sent me. Translation:

"We must measure whether or how much our sales training programs increase our revenue."

Get to the point.

Nobody has time to wade through a string of your opinions:

"Our product is the most innovative in the market today, with the highest quality service and support. Our highly-trained technicians can meet your needs regardless of the size of your business. We can do what other suppliers can't because we are committed to excellence at every level of our delivery process. We are the best in our industry because our customers are satisfied and delighted with our superlative products."

And, yes, that's based on a real "sales message" I was recently sent. Translation:

"In our opinion, we're wonderful."

Get to the point.

Especially if you don't have all that much to say. That way you're not wasting everyone else's precious time.

This is not a difficult rule to follow. It is neither brain surgery nor rocket science. If you've got something to say, say it in as few words as possible.

Nuff said.

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Last updated: Apr 10, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is "Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts that You Need to Know."

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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