Shotgun approach won’t help sales pitch

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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:00 am

Handwritten notes. Phone calls. Mass-media advertising. Colorful, glossy brochures sent through the mail.

There are many tactics you can use to communicate with prospective clients. But an abundance of choices sometimes leads to poor decision-making. By having so many communication choices, some companies or organizations decide to take the shotgun approach, blasting their message to everyone using every imaginable communication vehicle. That usually ends up being a waste of time and money.

In order for your messages to be effective, you must have a communication plan.

Communication itself is tactical, but it grows out of your organization’s strategic plan. One of the things you determine when creating your strategic plan is your message — what information you will convey to your target audience. When you have thoroughly established your message, you design the communication plan — a list of tactics you will use to deliver the message to your constituencies.

Not only must communication be informative, but it also should paint a picture of how wonderful your product or service is in such a way that prospects can clearly envision themselves benefiting from it. Your communication must be persuasive in that you are building a case as to how it provides value and solves the prospective client’s problems.

Powerfully effective sales communication must clearly address eight key concerns buyers have about products and services: saves money; makes money; reduces stress; saves time; is easy to use; provides security; boosts ego; makes them feel good about themselves.

Regardless of industry and regardless of a prospect’s background, all buyers care about these eight items and expect all or most of them to be satisfied before making a purchase.

The communication process stretches through the entire marketing and sales process. Therefore, communication is a major tactic that salespeople use to establish rapport with prospective clients and then to develop a relationship that leads to trust and ultimately a signed deal.

When designing a communication plan and while implementing it, keep your end goal in mind. You are using words to convey a message ultimately designed to lead people to an agreement with you or your company.

Jeff Beals is an Omaha author and speaker who can be reached at jeff@jeffbeals.com.

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