How effective is your sales message?
Chances are it might not be as scintillating as you might think. Many buyers complain that sales reps fail to provide them with clear, concise sales messages that help them buy or help them take the next step in the buying cycle. In fact, just the opposite occurs: the confused buyer takes no action at all.
An effective selling message has three fundamental components. They've been around since the time of the ancient Greeks. Perhaps because they are not 'new and sexy' they are increasingly being forgotten, misused or ignored. That's a real tragedy because when your sales message is not clear and convincing, your sales will suffer.
This article will show you how to create the ultimate sales message that gets your prospect to turn their head, listen and take action.
What is a Selling Message?
First off, a selling message is any message where you try to persuade a potential buyer to do something. Getting your prospect to agree to the next follow up call or to agree to a face-to-face visit can be as much of a "sale" as getting them to purchase a product or a service.
Creating the Ultimate Sales Message: The OEB Process
An 'ultimate' sales message is one that provides a convincing and compelling rationale for the client to take action of any sort. Creating an ultimate sales message is a 3-step process called O.E.B. (offer, explanation, benefit).
Part I: The Offer
The first part of an ultimate sales message is the clear articulation of precisely what you want to 'sell' or 'promote.' It is your offer.
Defined, offer means, "to present for acceptance or rejection; to present for sale." Based on that apt definition, an offer might be a specific product like a pallet of chainsaw lubricant, or it could be a face-to-face appointment to discuss retirement planning. It could be a webinar on your personnel evaluation software or it might be a conference call with your head technician to discuss your 'specs'. An offer might be as simple as a sales proposal or a quote.
Your offer is what the buyer must make a decision about. One of the best ways to convey your offer is to use the "recommendation trigger phrase." For instance,
"Audrina, based on what we've discussed so far, I would like to recommend...( that we get together; that you attend our webinar; that I get a quote into your hands; that you speak with one of our techs)"
Positioning the offer as a 'recommendation' has a less 'salesy' feel about it. The prospect doesn't feel like he or she is being 'sold.' This simple phrase reduces buyer reluctance and makes them more receptive to the explanation.
Part II: An Enticing Explanation
Most reps 'get' the offer part of a sales message. What most reps don't 'get' is that the offer must be accompanied with an enticing explanation.
The enticing explanation explains why a webinar, visit, trial demo or purchase is significant and important. It provides the meat of the matter. It is not enough to recommend attending a webinar. You must delineate what the webinar will cover. Create value. It is not enough to say, "Let's get together for a cup of coffee to discuss your financial future." What the heck does that mean? You need to add some 'oomph and pizzazz' to that offer so that it feels worthwhile. A trial demo must have a sense of weight and scope that screams to the prospect to try it immediately.
Don't skimp on the explanation.
Part III: The Ultimate Benefit
An 'ultimate' sales message needs one more element, a benefit. A benefit is why it is personally significant and important to the potential buyer. The explanation tells prospective buyers what they will get out of taking action but benefit explains what they will ultimately achieve from your offer. The benefits answer the classic question 'what's in it for me?'
Everyone knows the WIIFM formula. Benefits vary from client to client but typically they describe the intrinsic value that buyers derive from the offer. This includes things like saving money, making money, saving time, reducing risk, providing peace of mind, creating status and so on.
Putting OEB Together: Example
"_____, to get you started I would like to recommend a "test drive" of our EM Program.
In other words, I would like to recommend that you give the program a 'spin' around the block with three or four patients so you can get a feel how we work, how we work with your insurance providers, how your patients respond and how the program benefits your practice. You can assess our effectiveness, see how things operate, compile any questions and evaluate it from bumper to bumper.
At the end of day this 'test drive' will not only show you how our program can generate additional revenues for your practice but also give you peace of mind regarding our company and our program. And, should the program not appeal to you, no problem, you have risked nothing."
In this example, the doctor is offered a no cost trial of a particular program. The sales rep has used the simple but powerful metaphor of a test drive to explain what the trial would accomplish. Finally, the sales rep provides three benefits to the doctor (generating revenue, peace of mind and no risk). Used consistently, this message creates powerful and compelling reasons for the prospect to take action.
What Most Sales Reps Usually Do
As powerful as this 3-Step process may appear, many sales reps have difficulty applying it. They skimp on the explanation or they ignore the benefit. Perhaps this is because the explanation and benefits are so obvious to the sales rep who lives and breaths the product every day. The trouble is your offer isn't always so self evident to your prospect. They don't think webinars, products, trial demos and appointments every day of the week
Consequently the buyer is left with an incomplete or diluted selling message. You have not given them a reason to take decisive action. By harmonizing these 3-parts of your sales message, you make it easier for the client to evaluate and respond accordingly.
The 3-Part sales message is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination. It's been around for thousands of years. But that doesn't make it any less effective. A true ultimate statement is one that is used consistently, time and again, to persuade clients. For every offer you have available, create an enticing explanation and top it off with a benefit or two. Do it now and watch what it does to your sales results.
About the Author:
Jim Domanski is president of Teleconcepts Consulting and works with companies and individuals who struggle to use the telephone more effectively. Author of four highly regarded books on tele-selling, Jim has provided training and consulting to audiences, universities, and clients through the US, Canada and Europe.