I just spent a weekend in a cabin in the woods with a group of people, not all of whom spoke English.
And since I didn’t speak their language either, it made for an interesting time ; )
Thankfully there were one or two folks present who could translate, so we were able to get by ok…
But when these unofficial translators were otherwise engaged, the rest of us had to communicate using a mash-up of beginner-German, heard-on-TV-English, and mostly-physical-gestures-Russian.
Against all odds, it was a helluva lot of fun.
There’s nothing like laughing at your own inability to communicate to bring you down to earth…
Plus, nobody was killed by hillbillies, witches or mask-wearing mentalists, which is kind of a bonus for cabin-in-the-woods retreats.
However, this got me thinking:
If you do business online, you can’t ever rely on the desire of your prospect to WANT to understand you – or for them to make an effort to do so, like me and my fellow cabin-dwellers.
(It’s true: nobody wants to expend effort online any more.
We’d all be like “what is this, the 90s?”)
When you want to get your (sales) message across effectively, it’s up to you to put in 100% of the work.
The recipient gets to be as passive as they want.
So there’s a vast difference between having to join the team effort to get by IRL, working together to find ways to communicate…
…and actually persuading someone online in a free market, with countless other options to hand (not to mention a fast internet connection) that what they really need is to BUY YOUR STUFF.
Online sales messaging has about five seconds before “I don’t quite understand” becomes “I’m outta here”…
…or possibly “Hmm, what else is there..?”
(A luxury of choice sadly not afforded to people in wifi-free cabins in the woods.)
So when you want to ‘sell unique’ in a way that connects more deeply with more of your ideal prospects, clarity becomes even more important.
It’s no longer simply “I have X for sale, here’s what it costs and here’s why it’s so great”…
Great marketing is more about connecting with people in a deeper, more value-driven way:
“You have Y and Z problems, here’s how to solve them, and here’s the very best way to do that.”
Sure, the language you use to do that is important…
(I’m not talking about dialect – English, German etc. I mean using ‘hot button’ words and phrases your prospect recognises as empathetic and relevant to their situation…)
But more essential is WHAT you choose to communicate, and HOW.
Too much talk about your product or service without a focus on the reader’s problems, and you lose touch with WHY they’re here in the first place…
(Hint: it’s NOT to read about your product…)
But over-emphasising these problems at the expense of your unique, one-of-a-kind solution risks diluting your message, or even scaring the reader off.
The good news:
The right balance comes NOT through a series of semi-inebriated miming, broken English and hastily-constructed wooden props (unlike my weekend in the woods)…
But via a clearly communicated, persuasively written sales message.
As a biz-owner or marketer, you can choose to do this in many ways, in many styles…
(That’s part of what makes reading and writing so appealing to people of all backgrounds…)
But for a step by step process that works regardless of the actual style or structure of that message, I recommend the ‘3 Cs’ outlined here.
When you want to resonate with the people who matter most to your business, it should save you a lot of time, effort and cabin-in-the-woods-style awkwardness.
Cheers / Prost / на здоровье!