I am pulling out my hair, banging my head against the wall—writing, erasing, writing some more. But no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to get it right.
What’s causing me such distress? Words, my value proposition, what I say to entice people to do business with me.
You see, I’m in the process of changing my website to emphasize the speaking aspect of my business. When my targets pop onto my website, I want them to think “Wow, she totally gets the challenges we’re facing. That’s exactly what we want our salespeople to do. We need her to attend our next meeting.”
If only it were that easy. Here I am—a wordsmith and a sales expert—struggling to state my case. Everything I write feels wrong, awkward, clunky. And as much as I hate self-serving turns of phrase, I still catch myself using them.
Why am I telling you this? Because it’s hard to develop strong sales messages that really resonate with prospects. You never get it right the first time.
Finding the right words is a process of iteration and reiteration. Whether it’s an email, a voicemail, a conversation or a website, we have to constantly fine-tune what we say and how we say it.
We also need to pay attention to the reactions our words elicit. Do they pique our prospect’s curiosity? Do prospects repeat our words back to us when describing their issues or the help they need? Or are we quickly brushed off?
Words matter more than most salespeople know. I’m very particular about them. Prior to rewriting my website, I first visited dozens of other “expert” websites (not all in sales) to see how they described their services. Most did a mediocre job. As a prospect, I would have yawned and moved on.
But some caught my eye. When they did, I stopped to analyze why. I looked at the headlines, layout, verbiage, graphics and videos. What had they done to get me to stop surfing and spend more time on their sites? By pondering this question, I learned a lot.
Next, I narrowed the field down to the top eight sites.
After printing them out, I highlighted the words and phrases that appealed to me. Finally, I was ready to begin writing.
Being good at sales is not easy. It requires constantly finding new and more effective ways to maximize your impact. It’s work, there’s no doubt about it. But when you find your perfect words, you’ll know it—and so will your prospects.
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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling, Selling to Big Companies and Agile Selling. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.