In part 5 of our Masterclass Series on "Building a Strategic Marketing Plan for Your Business," host Eric Dickmann interviews Greg Rosner. Greg is the Founder of PitchKitchen.com, a sales enablement agency based in New York whose mission focuses on fixing bad sales messages, presentation decks, and company home pages. Instead of content that makes companies the hero of the story, Greg's team focuses on changing the focus towards the customer and helping them to visualize using the product or service.
PitchKitchen has helped hundreds of SMB organizations upgrade their story which has allowed their salespeople to double their close rate. Greg has developed the "12 Conversations" to help businesses engage with prospects and is also the host of #salestherapy show on Linkedin and a regular participate on Clubhouse.
Greg has taught communication skills at The New School in New York City. In his years of being an entrepreneur, Rosner has helped hundreds of organizations improve their storytelling and messaging frameworks. His passion is to develop various conversational approaches and strategies to help businesses turn prospects into customers.
Enhancing Your Buyer's Journey
When we talk about the concept of a buyer's journey, there is inevitably a handoff between marketing and sales. While Marketing is tasked with getting a prospects attention, Sales needs to make it personal. As Seth Godin put it - "The purpose of marketing is to promote and change." Sales helps facilitate that change and promote ways to make the marketing message more personally resonate with potential customers. Despite the different approaches of marketing and sales, it is essential that the messaging is consistent throughout the process.
Greg Rosner points out that some businesses mistake the buyer's journey as the end goal after securing a sale. In reality, the buyer's journey continues well after the sale. Ongoing service of that client and continuing to focus on their satisfaction provides new opportunities for additional sales, referrals, and improvements to your brand's reputation. Aiming to improve this journey should be a top priority within every company.
HubSpot Blog lists the three stages of a buyer's journey:
- Awareness Stage- The first stage of the buyer's journey is to identify the challenges or opportunities your customers want to pursue. Here, customers decide whether their problems should be considered as a priority or not.
- Consideration Stage- In this stage, people have committed to addressing their problems at hand and are determined to achieve their goals. The customers are now searching for different approaches or strategies that can help remedy their situation and pursue their goals.
- Decision Stage- This is where your marketing message should be deeply involved in. Clients have already decided on what solution they want to avail and negotiate on the terms of specific offerings. Your business must relate to their concerns and modify different strategies to ensure that you can deal with whatever problem your customers encounter.
How the Buyer's Journey is Reflected in Messaging
Greg shares that businesses often tend to be self-serving in their messaging. They focus on how great their products are, all the cool things they do, and why they are the best. What they tend to forget is the goal of their marketing messages is to create a better conversation with potential customers. It is alright to be confident with your product's capabilities, but it is more important to make sure prospects fully understand the value of your products or services in solving their specific needs.
According to Rosner, great marketing is not only talking about yourself and how great you are through slogans, but it's all about discussing how a particular idea, methodology, or approach can bring your business success. Take, for example, HubSpot. In 2012, they came up with a concept of inbound marketing which they heavily promoted through their website content and sales messaging. HubSpot appealed to customers who believed in this idea and this new future of marketing, and by using HubSpot's tools, could picture themselves being part of this new trend. HubSpot became successful in their marketing strategy because they sold a feature that people could visualize and wanted for their own organizations.
Elements of a Strong Sales Message
- Is not self-serving- The best marketing messages aren't the ones saying how great you are or that your product is one-of-a-kind. Instead, a good message points to a future state that desired by your customers. Just like Nike's- "Just Do It," a slogan should speak to your prospects aspirations and help them believe that you can drive them towards success. Be action-oriented and let your actions reflect your marketing messages without needing to resort to exaggerations or digs on your competitors.
- Describes your customer's problem- There are situations where customers don't even know how to express their problem. If you are able to articulate their pain points and describe it yourself, this helps create trust that your vision of their needs is in alignment. Knowing how to communicate this clearly with potential customers can be a great differentiator between you and your competitors.
- Establishes an emotional connection- Be clear in explaining what customers will get from your products or services. Appeal to their emotional side because emotional connection is ultimately what drives purchase decisions. For example, if you are selling weight-loss products, explain how customers will feel when they achieve their weight loss goals. It's less about losing 10 pounds than how they will feel having accomplished that goal.
I think the focus should be on the problem that your customers are facing, and talking about that problem."
Why Proof Points are Valuable in Building Out a Marketing Message
Proof points are valuable to companies in building out their messaging because prospects want to see evidence that your goods or services can address their pain points. In articulating your proof regarding the effectiveness of what you're selling, businesses should be honest about their product's capabilities. Offering up unrealistic expectations or absurd promises only leads to customer dissatisfaction down the road. Signal Inc. shares to us the DOs and DON'Ts when using proof points in your sales talk:
- Keep your message short, sweet, and substantial
- Use infographics to explain concepts better
- Gear your marketing message towards your product or service benefits
- Don't force proof points to situations where they don't fit
- Do not rely on only one kind of proof point (testimonials, sales figures, product recommendations)
- Do not forget to target your proof points to only a specific audience
Rosner tells us that anyone in Sales who thinks their biggest competitor isn't the status quo is living a dream. Getting someone to make a decision or move away from where they are today is a challenge. Focus on trying to build out the "before and after" journey story, goal attainment desires, and problem-solving discussions. These are the emotional triggers that need to be part of your marketing and sales messages. Again, think of those weight loss ads. How many showed a before and after picture? There's a reason! People want to see that desired end-state and effective messaging taps into that desire for achievement.
How to Get Your Message Across Effectively
Greg shares that companies must design their conversations to reach out to where people are at. Due to the restrictions brought about by COVID-19, you have to find innovative ways to communicate your message effectively. Since salespeople want to be perceived as trusted advisors, the sales team should design their marketing message to meet people where they are, while expressing an understanding of the changing conditions and ways of doing business
Things have certainly changed since the pandemic and businesses need to develop new communication methods to reach potential customers. In a world of Zoom meetings, it can be difficult to get audience engagement. Greg suggests trying to engage your audience with ice breakers or using new tools like MMHMM to enhance the effectiveness of your online meeting time.
When working with larger audiences, create short polls, discuss trending issues with the participants, or even offer prize raffles to keep people engaged. It may be difficult to demand participants turn on their cameras but with creative approaches like asking people to raise their hands, help encourage people to participate.
Rosner also recommends the newly-released Clubhouse app for engaging new audiences in a Zoom weary world. Clubhouse is an audio-only app that allows the user to engage with other users using audio chat. Another great tool is sending video emails which can help your message stand out in crowded inboxes. Creating audio or video messages can help businesses better explain their products or services since customers often prefer these methods of communication over reading presentations or product brochures. Sending personalized audio or video messages through email may not be new, but it's shocking that many businesses still haven't maximized the benefits these tools provide.
If you're not taking advantage of these tools, you are definitely missing out on opportunities for better engagement. It's worth taking the time to try new ways of communicating to see if new methods can help you break through. Figure out what's working, do some experimentation and figure out how to build the appropriate marketing message to engage your audience. Imaginasium lists the ten helpful ways to spread your marketing message effectively:
- Make your mission and value proposition known
- Research on your competitor marketing message
- Know your customer's problems inside and out
- Create an emotional connection with your audience
- Offer the market with something valuable and unequaled by others
- Employ a different message for different channels
- Create a genuine sense of urgency
- Consider telling customer stories and testimonials
- Be original in telling your brand story
- Market in the moment
Live Stream Replay
Greg Rosner is the Founder of PitchKitchen.com, a sales enablement agency based in New York whose mission focuses on fixing bad sales messages, virtual presentations, and company home pages that make themselves the hero of the story instead of their customer. PitchKitchen has helped hundreds of SMB organizations upgrade their story which has allowed their salespeople to double their close rate. Greg has taught communication skills at The New School in New York City and has developed the 12 Conversations and is the host of #salestherapy show on Linkedin.