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Let Me Tune Your Message... for Free

In the post "To Sell More, Tell the Customer's Story", I explained why "field messages" are more effective than "marketing messages" when it comes to generating buying behavior. However, great field messages are hard to write, so I thought I'd offer to rewrite some of your messages -- for free -- just to show how it's done.

According to Dean Schantz of Corporate Visions a well-honed, effective field message always answers five key questions:

  • Question #1: Is the message unique to your offering? If the role that your firm plays could be played by any of your competitors, your field message is only selling your product category.
  • Question #2: Does it differentiate you from the competition? If the field message is going to draw the customer toward buying from YOU, the message must show how YOUR firm is unique.
  • Question #3: Is it important to your prospect? No matter how compelling the story, if the dragon being slain (i.e. problem being solved) is actually a tiny serpent, nobody will impressed.
  • Question #4: Can you easily defend and prove its value? This is important. Your field story must be backed up with facts and figures that buttress any statements that might be questioned.
  • Question #5: Will they remember it after you leave? Too many messages are cookie-cutter replications of ideas that the customer has heard hundreds of times before. Borrrringgggg....
According to Dean, it's only when the answer to all five questions is an emphatic and enthusiastic "YES!" that you've got a field message that can truly drive sales.

What's challenging is keeping you and your firm in a supporting role. A field message tells the customer's story, where the protagonist is the customer, the antagonist is the challenge, and the plot objective is to overcome that challenge.

As thousands of marketing folk have concluded, the easiest way to differentiate yourself is by making yourself (rather than the customer) into the hero. But that ruins the message, because it gets you back into the "it's all about ME" mode of storytelling.

Writing a great field sales message is hard, and can take the talents of a professional writer. So I thought it might be fun, and instructive as well, if I offered to do some free rewriting. This is pretty good deal for you, because my writing services (which, alas for you, are no longer available to the public) are fairly pricey.

So leave your field message (or your marketing message) as a comment or (if you want me to keep your firm's name anonymous) email it to me HERE. I'll pick out the most interesting, rewrite them, and post them on this blog. I may even get Dean to take a look at them....

I can't guarantee I'll rewrite all of them, but at least you'll get a thank-you. And you'll know that at least one person (me) has actually read the message! (And that's saying something, because I've seen some pretty wretched ones!)

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