Sales messaging unites your entire organization in the way you attack your market; it can be the toolkit that the rest of your sales tools rely on. Every competitive market has multiple competing sales messages, so how do you stand out? It is impossible for one company to offer every customer everything they want in a product or solution. If you try, you will fail.
It is not possible that one company can offer the best features, the best price, and the most intimate customer experience. This principle is why any successful corporation is where it is today, because it dominates 1 of 3 competitive categories: Value, Features, Customer Intimacy. None of these strategies are better than another, but it is important to know where the whitespace is in your market, and how you fit best
Strategy #1: Value Leader
Value Leaders are powerhouse masters of low cost for the value they provide. Dealers that have a niche market in the frugal, they offer an acceptable good at a low price. You would never see the sales messaging for McDonald’s saying “Need the perfect place to propose? Hide her ring in a Big Mac! That is a luxury usually reserved for a champagne glass, at a 5-Star restaurant. It would not make sense for them to lure people into their stores with anything other than promoting the newest feature on their “Value Menu.” Walmart has the same market position in a different industry. Their sales messaging is always centered on “Rollback Prices,” because they know they can offer the lowest price available. Defining your sales messaging is all about understanding that if you are a fast food joint, be a great fast food joint, and don’t compete with a steakhouse.
Strategy #2: Feature Leader
Companies with “feature leader” sales messaging care about being the best, with the most capabilities, and usually have the price tag to support the extra expense they incurred in creating this good or service. The sales messaging Bose uses is a great example, always talking about sound quality. Their advertisements talk about their technology, which allows their devices to produce some of the best sound available. You can buy speakers at a gas station for $9.99, so why pay 10-100 times that much for Bose? The answer is sound quality and prestige. In the sunglasses industry, what makes people buy sunglasses for hundreds of dollars, when they could get a pair from the gas station that offers the same eye protection for five dollars? It is because their sales messaging has told the consumer about their latest technology, experience making special glasses for competitive bicyclists, interchangeable lenses, and use of the best materials. These features are important to many consumers, which is why many of us have had a pair of “good sunglasses”.
Strategy #3: Intimacy leader
The sales messaging focus for Intimacy leaders is customer experience. Apple has done an exceptional job establishing themselves as an intimacy leader. Mac computers are not the cheapest option, and PC’s can offer a much more powerful, customizable system. The draw for people to Mac is the user experience. Macs work for the user, with very little knowledge about how computers work, or how to maintain them. They rarely get viruses, freeze, crash, and have the simplest operating system on the market. They have expertly created the “Apple Genius Bar” at stores all over the country so that in case something does go wrong, specialists can work with customers one-on-one to fix or teach any issue that arises. Apple doesn’t have a warranty, they have “Apple Care”. Their sales messaging emphasizes this with simple images that usually feature with a clean white background, and a simple message. The sales messaging for Nordstrom is very similar. Their model is relies on controlling the shopping experience, and making sure people have the most enjoyable experience possible. They have an excess of staff on the floor to answer questions, a shoe shine as a service, and a tailor in every store to make sure customers have everything they could possibly want from a clothing store.
How is your Sales Messaging?
Take a very honest look at your company, and where it sits in relation to your competition. Are you a value leader? A feature leader? An Intimacy leader? If there an area in which you cannot compete, then don’t! Align your sales messaging to focus on the areas of your company that you can win, and your competition cannot easily duplicate. Once you know where you fit into the market, it is easier to find and qualify the leads that your company makes the best fit to serve.