Design Your Message

Igloo

Dearth Of A Salesman

They say a great salesperson could “sell ice to Eskimos.” But is that really true?

Probably not — and the salesperson who does it is not serving the customer. Everybody knows that Eskimos (Inuit, nowadays) don’t need more ice.

You might say that this is only a caricature of a message that doesn’t match the audience’s needs. But you’d be surprised how often entrepreneurs (and even professional marketers) make the same mistake. It’s almost a clich√© to hear of a new entrepreneur’s product that bombed out because the market didn’t want it after all.

What Selling Really Is

Yes, you know better than that. You know how important it is to test first. If the results look good, it’s time to try out a basic message. You want to let your audience know as soon as possible that you have a solution for one or more of their problems.

But now what? How do you begin? How do you actually design the message? How do you show that you and your offering have what it takes to satisfy your audience?

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Here’s just one example, in some ways more difficult than offering tangible products or services. When I write a letter to ask for donations to a charity auction, I have to know my audience, know how my request fits into their worldview, and make sure I’m offering them value that they will recognize¬†— in this case, gratification and the knowledge that they are contributing to something they value.

Ice-hotelIn other words, I have to make my message match their needs, wants, values, and beliefs. I know how the audience thinks, so I can structure the letter to ensure that the communication reaches its destination. (These letters help to bring in quite a few donations.)

Not everybody knows how to do this. The world would be better off if more people did, but until that time, people like me are here to help. if you need to create a message that bridges the gap between your audience’s needs and your solutions.