A Tiered Approach To Sales Messaging
When you interact with a customer or prospect on the phone or in person, you may or may not be aware of the fact you are using a key messaging (or brand positioning) hierarchy (or platform) to pitch your business, its offerings and its uniqueness. I liken this tiered series of messages (used to communicate live and even indirectly through your website, brochures, etc.) to a four-legged table.
Brand Positioning Platform
Imagine your business’s key differentiation broken up into distinct components that together (and when delivered from top to bottom) successfully communicate your value to a customer or prospect and urge them to purchase your wares:
1. Table Top – This top-line message is your positioning statement (aka elevator pitch) that answers the questions: who are you, what do you offer, for whom do you offer it, how are you different and what is the value in your products/services. Imagine delivering this succinct, all-encompassing statement as the first words out of your mouth to a sales prospect, or the first words that appear in your brochure or on your home page. This positioning statement sets the table for subsequent, more granular (yet supporting) messaging that props up the table top.
2. Table Legs – Like any good table, unless it is mounted to a wall, it must have four sturdy legs (in this case key messages) that support the table top. Similarly, key messages directly support the claims made in the positioning statement. In essence, every distinguishing characteristic listed in the positioning statement – i.e. largest, fastest, global, revenue-generation, etc. – must have a supporting key message that elaborates on it and helps to substantiate it.
3. Feet – Those little pads at the end of each table leg that help the table stabilize are likened to each message’s supporting proof points. These validation points validate all claims made in the positioning statement and key messages. Without these, your positioning statement and key messages may squirm all over the place and very easily lose credibility and impact.
This tiered (or layered) approach to message development also lays the groundwork for how you can most effectively “deliver” your positioning statement, key messages and proof points verbally, in-person, online or via your sales and marketing collateral. Think about it. The positioning statement (elevator pitch) is your opening line over the phone with a sales prospect, on your home page or in your brochure, for example. Your key messages are the next level down and can be used as your secondary sales and marketing rhetoric. Finally, your supporting proof points are those added elements you can then employ to substantiate your claims and instill some credibility in the mind of the sales prospect.
This brand positioning platform you have at your disposal is a very powerful tool to distinguish you from your competition. It should be viewed as a tremendous competitive differentiator, especially since none of your competitors likely have such a succinct, encompassing and differentiating set of messages. Although every business should have such a platform, almost none actually do. While this may seem extremely surprising to you, it is the truth. Therefore, if you make the decision to develop a brand positioning platform, you are all but assured to be the only player in your market that has the messages necessary to clearly articulate its distinction and value. It is time to start developing that brand positioning platform, before your competition does.