The 2 Biggest Problems With Your Sales Communication
If you've ever written or spoken the words, "I just wanted to ..." stop. If you've ever sent emails to clients pushing on pain points, stop that, too (because that’s exactly what your competition is doing).
These are two of the biggest problems with sales communication techniques — they make you look weak, and like every other seller out there.
Here's how to understand if your mentality and pain-point-pushing are, in fact, causing you to start fewer conversations than you deserve. If so, we'll get you on track with stronger written and voice-based digital messages.
Stop 'Wanting To'
Subconsciously you may be on the defensive. We all are. In life and with our work. Defensiveness and uncertainty are part of the human experience. But it can destroy your ability to communicate effectively.
Case in point, "I just wanted to ..."
Author and sales trainer, Jeb Blount, recently said, "You're saying it on the phone, you're saying it in emails and InMails, you're saying it in person ... 'I just wanted to check-in' ... 'I just wanted to set an appointment' ... 'I just wanted to grab a few minutes of your time' ... 'I just wanted to stop by' ... I just wanted to reach out."
"Just wanted to" is poor grammar. I've taken heat from my students on this for a long time. But I feel empowered by Jeb to stand firm. Stop it.
Yes, we should strive to write as we speak. But when we speak weakly, we are average. And average in sales isn't effective. Especially in digital communications — like voicemail and email.
"'Just wanted to' is yesterday ... it is passive and weak. It makes you sound insecure," says Blount.
Perhaps because you are insecure.
The cure? Well, be confident. But also shift to active tense. Take an active stance. Be confident. Don’t sound average!
"Say, 'I want to.' Say 'I am.' Be active. Be confident," says Blount. "Because confidence transfers to your prospect. Stop saying, 'I just wanted to.' Just stop it."
Are You Needy?
We all need. To need is human. But needing a reply, a conversation or a closed sale can set you up for communications failure. Just like when we date to find that perfect life partner: The more you communicate, subtly, you really need that second date, the less often you get it.
The more persuasive your tone (during the first date) the less you attract. Because persuading inherently puts you on the defense. It assumes you must convince. Instead, what if you confidently provoked your prospect to convince him/herself? Slowly.
Bottom line: A more confident mental attitude drives more productive behavior. Because confidence attracts, in personal and professional life. Word choice is everything.
"When I stop being needy, I can focus on my reader's needs — like being respectfully short, factual, interesting ... and ending with an implied choice," says copywriter David Morrison.
"I think of this instruction as a prescription, and I think effective cold email is also a prescription for the reader: declarative, unambiguous, single action," says Morrison.
Indeed, a cold call or email should be strong in tone. However, to be effective it should not be forceful. Instead, the message's tone must be openly at peace with rejection.
"Doctor's don't beg. They tell you what to do and leave it up to you to follow instructions — and if you want to fix your pain/problem, you decide to take action. No one can persuade you or motivate you to do something. That desire comes from inside."
Is what you sell prescriptive? Then David's metaphor works.
Why 'Pain Points' Are Such a Pain
Marketers and sellers instinctively push on pain points. If a customer has a pain, tell them you can relieve it. But everyone is pushing information that touches on pains. If you want to blend in with the scenery, pushing on pains is an excellent way to get ignored/deleted.
Also, you cannot start near-term conversations with clients who don't (yet) realize they have pain. Yet, sellers continue to turn to marketing prose for language that pushes on pains.
Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded the Google Affiliate Network in 1999, and has been selling for 18 years. Jeff is adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s business school, a social sales trainer and author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You. Most social selling trainers teach the value of engaging customers and providing relevant content. Then they demonstrate the technology. But no one tells you exactly how to produce leads and sales—using a proven, systematic approach to content. Until now.