Let’s see if we can take off from a current buzzword our marketing cousins are using; congruence.
This is where all elements of what you do must be congruent with your overall standpoint. Where each experience with you follows a central theme that confirms your uniqueness and value.
One readily recognisable example heralds from retail. Ever wondered about the music piped through in shops, restaurants and bars? Today, the audio curation of just the right ‘vibe’ is a massive and growing industry.
I’m often surprised at how all those official messages that suspects can receive before they become a lead are not truly in harmony with the bulging gains our solution arena’s non-commodity products can unleash.
You may be picturing one such glossy now. Something which may cost thousands has a spec-sheet that looks more like an electrical wholesaler weekly discount mailer. I get that this may be down to sheer cost. Yet at the other end of the spectrum, I have seen extravagantly produced high-end brochures left behind in the cars of salespeople, frightened they’ll scare off their prospects. Which here could be through design over-ambition.
Parking the obvious of marketing collateral cues needing to match your potential clients’ eventual involvement with you, think about whether how you actually sell is congruent with where your offering and delivery sets you apart.
In the olden days – pre-email – I was brought up by certain sales mentors that really understood the value of how your documentation to a prospect was crafted. Not only how it looked, but also how it felt.
I remember seeing a collection of faxes (really, I know…) strewn across a prospect’s desk and feeling the glow from how mine stood out. Purely down to format and approach. Then, hopefully, my message was suitably congruent back then, too.
I was in a New York tech Sales Office a while back. Privy to a discussion around an account’s progress. An email train of a particular thread between seller and buyer was projected onto the big screen. You’ve probably done this kind of thing. Scroll to the bottom and see what kicked things off. Trying to identify whether we were still on track or needing a huge crane to lift us back on the rails.
These guys were earning six-figures, basic (the dept since disbanded through M&A and the like). Yet the initial mail was solely dense prose. Clunky paragraphs, no headings and lengthy. It reminded me of seeing commuters reading their Kindle. Never-ending text. Seemingly nothing to distinguish yourself by.
If the experience of buying portrayed the experience of using, then a conclusion was likely that a turgid, stodgy, unappetising journey awaits.
Do you have frameworks for specific correspondence at particular deal stageposts? An audit of docs and mails sent during a campaign can be a chastening half-hour.
Likewise, how meetings and calls are conducted can be far from structured or consistent or distinctive. When was the last time you were involved in that solution selling staple, the workshop? How was the experience for your prospect? Was it any of worthwhile, learning, challenging, expansive, shaping, engaging, fun, thinking, creative, productive?
Perhaps a first step might be to take a recent win. One that you’d like to see more of. In the middle of your suspected sweet spot. Have a look at every piece of comms received by the client during their buying campaign.
It is unlikely all they read were blocks of text. Diagrams, pics, lists, slides, schedules, ideas, proposals. Select the best-practice, sculpt different forms of items. Ensure they’re truly representative of how you wish to be viewed. Formulise and spread throughout your funnel.