The posting below is borrowed [reposted] from Rita Coco's CocoAbundance email message that she sends to many many colleagues periodically. A true diamond in the rough, Rita challenges business leaders to think and change. Read below and consider your communications and approach with your prospects and even existing clients.
I (AJ) have to ask..."Are you kicking yoursellf in the teeth with your first smile?"
from Rita Coco:
The Communication Faux Pas
If you only knew how your prospects hear you...
you would immediately change how you talk to them!
As a nation, our marketing communications are broken.
As business owners, we need our future customers to choose us. We are wasting prospects’ time if they cannot decide, in a few precious seconds, if we can even be helpful to them (and, we are wasting our time too!).
We need to stop monologuing and start dialoging with our prospects; they deserve more than our ineffective, ‘self-pushing’ conversations. They deserve an opportunity to know whether we can solve a problem and/or make their life better – and if not – help them find someone who can.
Self-pushing conversations are loaded with statements containing:
Who we are
What we have
How we do things
Where we are located
How long we have been in business
I call these statements; the ROYAL “WE”; these messages are autobiographical and self-serving when out of context. Businesses focused on these statements go “we, we, we, all the way home” – and never to the bank. They also waste people’s time. Self-pushing statements all too often make their entrance at the beginning of our marketing communications. They appear on the website home page, the front fold of the brochure, the first paragraph of a sales letter or in the line immediately following “Hello” in a call script.
Self-pushing statements are a company’s monologue;
they waste our precious marketing dollars and customers’ and prospects’ time.
Small businesses are almost always unaware of their one-sided communication with prospects. Start-ups self-promote because they know more about what they sell than who they sell to. Existing businesses use ‘we’ messages as a way to look ‘more professional’, inadvertently lengthening their sales cycle and clouding up prospect communications.
When it comes to marketing communications, 80% of small businesses look at other (local and global) marketing communications and follow what everyone else does, then wonder why they are not attracting prospects.
A company’s monologues build a wall between them and their prospects;
A company’s dialogues invite prospects to converse with them.
What can you do today to make a shift from monologuing to dialoguing?
Start creating powerful dialogues within your marketing communications; prove that you can solve the prospect’s problems. Instead of self-pushing statements, here are customer-directed questions you can use to initiate a dialogue:
Do you need…?
Do you desire…?
Is your business being affected in this way…?
Is this shift (describe the shift) what you want your business to take?
Is this positive result (describe the result) what you are looking for?
How you complete these questions will make or break your dialogue.
For example: how do you know what your best customers’ most important needs and desires are? (Remember: your product or service is not their desire or need; it is the results (impact) of buying and using what you have that they want!)
Here are some initial steps to create your own customer dialogue:
- Look critically at customer testimonials you already have; pick and use the content in the impactful testimonials for your communications.
- Revisit your passion: your passion is something that changes your marketplace for the better. What impact do you want them to experience?
- Be selective in who you want to serve; then you can focus on a specific impact for a specific marketplace.
- Start talking to your customers.
- Start collecting testimonials.
Should you become ‘aware’ of self-pushing monologues, you will want to take immediate action - but won’t know how. Steps 4 and 5 (above) are the most difficult steps to perform because they involve spending time with current customers; time you and they may not have. You must know exactly how long to engage your customer, what questions to ask and how to ask them, so that the time is fruitful for you - and a lovely touch point for them. Just preparing for this level of dialogue can be discouraging – but it does not have to be that way!
RCC can help.
1. Save the date, April 15th 2010. RCC is offering a workshop to tune-up your present marketing materials. Bring your web pages, your brochures, your blogs, your commercials, your presentations and leave with improved communications that will increase your prospecting activity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.
2. Too busy to work on your marketing? RCC offers several services that increase prospecting. If you are too busy to work on your business, we can help you remove the bottlenecks between you and your growth. Call or email us; we can help! (Contact information is below.)
Can you help?
At RCC, we’re on a mission to transform small businesses by making the owners aware of efficient processes – similar to our discussion in this Cup of CocoA on upgrading our communications process. Do you know of an event, function, or organization dedicated to helping small business owners, one that needs a speaker? Rita Coco Consulting offers FREE business-building presentations. Please call or email us—and thanks!
© 2010, Rita Coco, Rita Coco Consulting [reposted at http://www.ajleto.com/ 3/1/2010 by email@example.com]
Rita Coco Consulting | Sign up for a free cup of CocoAbundance! | http://www.ritacoco.com/ | firstname.lastname@example.org | 508-829-8282 (P) | 774-364-0872 (C) | 128 Lovell Road, Holden, MA 01520
What you don't measure you can't manage; what you don't manage, you can't grow.