It may seem like the foundation is going to be ability to write well. While that’s an important skill to have, the foundation is really is the intent with which you approach the sale. Your intention has to be based on three solid pillars of serving, caring and providing value.
A. Intent to Serve: Your first and final intent has to be to help your prospects with their needs with one or more of your offerings. Of course, you don’t need to sacrifice your needs.
B. Intent to Care: You MUST care for your prospects concerns as if they are your own concerns. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect and look at the deal from the other side of the table and see if the deal looks fair. If not, you need to go back to the drawing board.
C. Intent to Provide Value: However basic this appears to be, this is an important pillar. Your intent to provide value should be unquestionable.
With that in the backdrop, here are seven elements of winning sales communications:
1. Responsive: Even just a handful of years ago, B-2-B prospects were at a disadvantage, overwhelmed with new possibilities and solutions. Today it’s exactly the opposite. By the time a prospect reaches out to you, they’ve more than likely already researched potential solutions online, and they are much further along in the buying cycle. Sure, your offerings are differentiated from your competitors’. But as markets become more crowded with competing vendors, sales and marketing messaging is increasingly commoditized.
When offerings look more or less the same from a feature/function perspective, responsiveness takes the center stage. Respond late to a customer inquiry or other request, and even with a reasonably good offer, you might end up losing the deal to someone else who was more nimble. Problem is, there’s only so much time in the day, so responding in 10 minutes instead of 10 days requires the right tools and mindset.
“Hi [FIRST NAME],
Thank you for your inquiry. Please find below my responses to your specific questions.
Also please know that as long as we work together, I will try to respond to any call or email within 12 hours (and I’ll try to be much faster!). While our solutions and services are unique in the market, at [COMPANY] we also differentiate ourselves by our responsiveness and dedication to customer care and satisfaction.
2. Right The response has to be accurate on many fronts.
This seems like a given, but think of all the emails and other materials that are riddled with “unintended hyperbole”, exaggerating to the point that it’s nauseating.
A few examples:
- We build world-class inventory software
- We make the world’s best burgers
- We are the gold standard in compensation consulting
- We have the industry’s leading ecosystem of fully-integrated interfaces to all major functional applications and officially-certified business processes.
Unintended hyperbole is on one end of the annoyance spectrum. On the other end, you have “willful misrepresentation” of facts to make your offering look superior to competing vendors’ offerings. In the latter case, you might be able to win in the short-term, but only at the expense of your longer-term credibility and opportunities in the account.
More often, negligence is the culprit; sellers rely on content they know may not be the most recent or accurate. Being right is often nothing more than ensuring that sales-ready content is easily vetted and approved by the right stakeholders. This shouldn’t require circulating documents or lengthy meetings. More importantly, once vetted, the content needs to be readily accessible (meaning at the “point of use”) at the front lines of sales engagement.