With all the noise out there, are you trying to be louder? How can you have your messaging heard? What are you doing to be subtle?
In my book, PROFITS, Your Seven Letters to Success, I write about the KISS method. Yes, it’s the simple age-old adage that we need to keep it simple stupid. This is becoming even more necessary today, as we continue to be barraged by messages from everywhere.
Recently I saw a hearse that had advertising signs on both sides of the van. Yes, this is the vehicle that is supposed to be subdued and respectful moving the recently passed to a better place. You would think that the florist and cemetery that bought the real estate on either side of this vehicle would have a little more class. Although I could write about the ethics and/or morality of the advertising for quite a while, what today’s blog is about, is getting your message out and getting it heard thru all the noise.
There are messages everywhere we go, everywhere we look, and on every device we try to use. Turn on any channel now-a-days and there is a ticker running on the bottom of the screen that has other information on it. Try watching a news station, and really try to pay 100% attention to the anchor as they discuss their story. It’s nearly impossible with all the flashing “Alerts” or “Breaking News” and “this just in” messages on my flat screen. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to rewind what I was watching (thank God for DVR) and listen to it again. Not because I didn’t understand it, but because I was distracted by the other messages.
KISS METHOD – Keep it simple (fill in the blank)
Now, think about our poor customers. Yeah, not often do I feel sorry for a buyer, but in this case I really do. They are pushed by us, their suppliers, our competition, internal resources, outside consultants, and a myriad of other avenues about what they should be doing. They are getting hundreds of communications a day, from email, texts, voice mails, and internal memo’s. As a professional sales person, what can you do to ensure that your customer is not only getting the information, but has read it thoroughly?
There are many answers, but none of them include “send more messages”. I’m a firm believer in planning and scheduling time with my customers and clients to review almost everything that I send them. If you feel it’s important enough to write, then it’s important enough to find 10-15 minutes to discuss over the phone, video conference, or in person.
In the vast majority of instances, I send my contracts, memo’s, and presentations in advance of the meeting. I want the customer to have a chance, albeit a small one, to at least look at it and get the mindset of what the meeting is going to be about. I set the meeting, “Friday at 11am – 11:15” Topic “Discuss attached proposal” and then I know at least they have it.
Small, bite sized meetings and conversations over specific topics, really help your customer focus on whatever your task at hand is. It’s imperative that you understand all the inputs and items that you are competing with. Its’ not just a true competitor that is fighting for time, it’s all the “crap” that is out there that I call noise.
What’s important to them?
During this 5-10 minute sessions with the customer on something that is important to THEM, it is a good opportunity to bring up something that you want to bring up. Off the cuff, informal, and basically just to see if you can get a certain level of interest. So, while you are meeting about the “Cost Reduction Proposal” that was attached to your meeting notice, you bring up the new product launch of something they may find interesting.
It’s up to us to be creative and find ways to get our customers to hear, see, listen, smell or whatever sense you want to excite. But you have to understand all of the other competition out there. Don’t make your noise louder, make it simpler and easier to swallow.
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