How do you get your message across to the right target with all the different forms of communication at work today?
There are hundreds of emails, hours of television, podcasts, streaming video, texting, messaging… there is no end to it.
The result is that we all shut out the communication we don’t want to hear. So, the small business has to give its communications a powerful boost in order to break through the clutter noise. On the other hand, effective communications make sales, so you can’t keep quiet.
Here’s how to get your message across :
- Know your target: Before you think about what you’re going to say, think about to whom you are going to say it. Good communication starts at the receiving end, that is, you please the consumer just as you do with your products. Think about the what it is in your product or service that most interests your customers, and make that the main topic of your communication. That way, they’ll listen.
- Tell a short but meaningful story: You have a real message to get across, so tell the story as simply and clearly as possible, putting in only the parts that the target will care about. Don’t add a lot of extraneous detail, and don’t put in a lot of info about your history or your life. Keep it simple and relevant to the reader.
- 90% of most impressions are made in the first 30 seconds of contact: Find a simple idea that you know will appeal to your customers and get them started with it. The first impression is not based on the substance of the communication. One way to make sure you get the starting part right is to write your story, then cut it in half, then cut it in half again. Now take the main idea, and start with that. And don’t make your first communication too long…
- Don’t try too hard to sell: Your customer will evaluate your message on its merits. Sure, if you are offering discounts or freemium than let them know right away. But, give them the full sense of what makes your product great. If you just say “Buy, buy, buy,” you’ll lose their attention.
- Give them solutions, not problems: Your customer knows what the problems are. Show how you can solve them. Give them a “WIN-WIN,” with an emphasis on the benefits of a relationship. Be sure to respect your targets’ expertise, experience, and opinions, and then show them that your message is right up their alley.
- Give them a call to action: As part of what you offer, give them a chance to learn more, or to watch a video, or to get more details. Always end your communication with a call to action. This means the communication can move up to another level without asking for money from your targets. If they’re interested, they will take the opportunity, and that will give you a chance for a real sales pitch.
- Move to informal communication: After telling your basic story, offer a move to texting, messaging, or a call. Many viewers, especially younger ones, prefer interactive texting or messaging to reading or watching videos. The plus is, once you’ve got your prospect listening and replying, you can zero in on what they really want and try to sell them on your offer.
- On a personal note: if you are over thirty, call your mother. She probably prefers the telephone. If you have teenage kids, take a look at their cellphones; not to spy, but to learn all the great internet advances they are using. Different generations prefer different types of communication – if you are targeting seniors, plan on making old-fashioned calls, but for Millennials, plan on getting on twitter or Facebook or Instagram, etc.
These tips give you a sense of how to manage effective communications and get your message across . Give it a try, and see how much more response you get when you follow my advice. Then, if you want to learn more about effective communication, please contact me here.
Dr. Bert Shlensky, president of StartupConnection.net, is a graduate of Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. He served as the president of WestPoint Pepperell’s apparel fabrics business & President and CEO of Sure Fit Products. Having provided counseling to over 2,000 clients, he focuses on working with select start up and small businesses.