Sales messages are important. Their purpose is two-fold: First, they should help convince prospective customers to buy from you; and second, they should help convince your existing customers to stay with you.
Unfortunately, most sales messages accomplish neither of these tasks--primarily because they force customers to do mental gymnastics, according to sales guru Dean Schantz.
Dean points out there are three generic types of sales messages:
Most sales messages fall into the "Is" or "Does" categories, both of which force a customer to translate the message into something that's meaningful to that customer.
Why the Message Fails
When you make an "Is" claim about your company, the first question that pops into a customer's mind is: "Why is this important to me?"
This is especially true when an "Is" message uses vague terminology like "We're the leading supplier of ..." But even if the "Is" message contains a metric (say, "We are a billion-dollar firm"), the significance of the metric may not be obvious to the customer. The customer might, for instance, think that huge revenues mean that they'll get lost in the shuffle if they have a problem.
Similarly, when you explain what your company "Does," it forces the customer to figure out how those features and functions fit into what the customer is trying to accomplish. Once again, the first question in the customer's mind is: "Why is this important to me?"
Sure, some customers (especially the techies--who may not have decision-making authority) will make this translation automatically. But many customers won't, which leaves you communicating something that the customer may either not understand or consider irrelevant.
Better Way to Communicate
By contrast, "Means" messages do the heavy lifting for the customer. Because these messages address the customer's business concerns, the customer can more easily understand how your firm and your offerings fits into what they are trying to accomplish.
Here are a couple of examples:
Note that a truly-effective "Means" message also contains a quantifiable financial benefit. This further lightens the customer's burden of understanding where your offerings fit.
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