Ever eagerly open a bag of chips, only to find about five chips and a lot of air? What if your sales messaging comes off the same way to your potential customers? Poorly designed, inconsistent messaging feels like a bag of chips to your prospects: mouth-watering at first glance, but when you open it, there are only five chips and a lot of air.
Imagine your ideal customer finally putting eyes on your website or a PDF you sent. This is the person you know needs the solution you are offering, but if your messaging isn’t speaking directly to them, you’ll leave them feeling unsatisfied and probably a little confused. That means they’ll leave your site or walk away looking for someone else to solve their problem.
So, what can you change in your sales messaging to make the best possible first impression every time? Here are three mistakes you need to avoid:
1. Avoid Inflated Sales Messaging
Don’t over-complicate first impression messages.
Poor messaging will leave your ideal customer feeling like they just opened an inflated bag of chips.
At GrowthX, we don’t spend all day staring at pitch decks. Instead, we’re in the weeds, working with our founders to get them to market, and guide them through all their revenue milestones.
One of the most common problems we see is inflated messaging.
Take a look at your website. A lot of founders spend copious amounts of time and money developing beautiful websites. They have all the right design elements – well-placed images, short snippets and blurbs, bullet points, and lots of well-intentioned white space.
But when you actually try to understand their solution, you start feeling confused. You scroll and click with a little more intensity because you’re looking for more chips. Then you realize it’s too much work (i.e., it’s all air).
They don’t have what you’re looking for, and you leave the site in search of solutions you can actually imagine yourself adopting with less effort than it took you to try and understand whatever that last website was trying to say.
Jargon, acronyms, features lists, endless specs and options – you don’t need them. What do you need?
A simple, straightforward message that immediately lets your ideal customer know that your solution is perfect for them.
Your website isn’t there to convert anyone. It’s the first point of contact – a first impression. It’s supposed to lead your ideal customer to the next step.
And that’s the second mistake you’re not going to make.
2. Get Your Audience Right
Talk to your ideal customer and no one else.
You’re not trying to tell your friends and family about your solution – at least not on your website and collateral. Save it for poker night.
You’re not trying to sell your product to every passerby who happens upon your site. Cure-alls went the way of snake oil salespeople in the 19th century.
You definitely don’t want to spend time talking to people who don’t have the money to buy your product. You’re trying to target the right people with the right first impression.
They don’t need to buy something because of your website or PDF. But they will stop communicating with you if they don’t see themselves reflected in the solution you offer.
When you craft your website, collateral, a pitch, or anything else intended to entice a potential buyer, make sure it’s designed to be effective and influence your ideal customer – they’re the only ones that matter.
Continuing the website example, consider the user interface – the buttons that click to get things done. Then consider the experience, how those clicks make your ideal customer feel.
Now custom design messaging and an experience that will effortlessly guide them through a brief (snack size) but satisfying (fulfilling, rather than disappointing) experience that makes them want to take the next step.
Whatever the next step happens to be is up to you. They can give you their email, call you, schedule a demo – just get the right people to that next step.
3. Cut Out the Inconsistent Sales Messaging
Make sure your sales message is organized, centralized, and direct.
Align every touchpoint by naming your solution, listing three to four things your ideal customer needs to know about what your solution does for them, and next steps.
We’ve mentioned a few different touch points where you leave a first impression. For example, an elevator pitch, collateral, website, emails, phone calls – they all need to be consistent.
We’re not talking about making sure the logo and tagline end up everywhere. We’re talking about your value proposition. What is the deliverable?
Founders understandably get caught up in lists of features and specs. They are proud of their creation, and they want to share all of it all at once. But being strategic is much more effective.
It’s also common to see people cobble together a series of snippets and phrases that sound great but only at first glance.
Every single customer-facing communication, whether a phone call, a handshake in an elevator, or your website, needs to be aligned to the same message about your solution.
Ask yourself, what are the three to four things my ideal customer needs to know about my product? And always have next steps in mind. That’s all your first impression needs to convey.
There are three critical rules to creating effective messaging for your startup.
First, stop trying to over inflate the bag. Give a great first impression, show your audience the big picture, and tell them the solution they are seeking and that you can deliver.
Second, stop trying to be everything to everyone, and focus your messaging specifically on your ideal customer. They should see themselves reflected in the words, the experience, and the natural next step you communicate.
Finally, be consistent. Name your solution and the top three to four things your ideal customer needs to know. And always have next steps in mind. Align every touchpoint with the same centralized message.
In short, the key to successful sales messaging is to avoid being the garden variety bag of chips by ensuring that there is sufficient, consistent, and targeted depth. Especially when your competitors are likely offering their own variation of a bag of chips, having precise and effective messaging can be all the difference in winning your next customer.