A building materials sales message is how you describe your product and the reasons you believe it is the better choice. That message should be used in sales calls, trade show exhibits, on your website, your social media, over email and anywhere else a prospect might encounter you.
When you have an ineffective or inconsistent sales message you are making your job harder than it has to be. It’s like pushing a rock uphill when it should be rolling downhill. Isn’t your job hard enough already?
The problem is that most building materials sales messages are weak, ineffective and inconsistent. Here are the main reasons why.
- All features and no benefits. A perm rating is a feature, but what is the benefit?
- Benefits that have no value to the decision-maker. A product that makes new homes more comfortable is beneficial – but only to the homebuyer. Those features will be a lot less relevant to the builder who decides which products will get used. Before you craft your message, ask yourself who is the decision-maker and how does your product benefit them.
- Assuming your benefits are so obvious that you don’t need to state them. Many successful companies assume that their reputation is so solid, they don’t need to keep selling themselves or spelling out the benefit of their products. They’re wrong. You’re never too popular to sell yourself and remind customers why they should choose you.
- Making the customer work to figure out what you’re selling and why you’re better. The most effective sales messages make their case simply and quickly.
- Thinking the customer wants a better product instead of a better solution. Your customers don’t really care about better products – they just want a way to solve the problems they’re having. That needs to be your selling point.
- Trying to be all things to all customers instead of focusing on the best prospects. There’s an assumption that the more customers you can target, the more you’re going to sell. In reality, the best way to make your sales grow is to focus on helping your best prospects. Stop worrying about the hypothetical sales you might miss and focus on the prospects who are more likely to say yes.
- The assumption that everyone knows who you are, what you sell, and why your product is better. Just like you have to keep selling yourself to people who already know you, you have to realize that someone might not really know who you are. Even if they heard your name, they might not know what you do or what you specialize in. Never assume that your reputation precedes you.
- You don’t stick to a consistent message. You should use the same message in sales calls, on your websites and everywhere else. The best consumer brands take a disciplined approach to sales and marketing. They stick to the same message no matter how they’re communicating to their customers. Instead of treating each method as an opportunity to deliver a new message, perfect your main message and stick to it.
- Your message is too complicated. Fewer words and fewer images to support those words work better with our shorter attention spans. Yes, building materials can be complicated and are a B2B sale. But your customers still want to be able to quickly decide whether considering your product is worth their time.
- You’re not giving enough context. Reminding your customer of the original purpose of your type of product and how improvements have been made over time can help them better understand your product. Show them the real function it serves and where you fit in the evolution of these products.
- You show how your product benefits the company, but not the individual. You want a company to buy your product, but that purchasing decision will have to be made by an individual. What’s in it for them? In most cases, advocating for a new product represents a risk with little upside. Even if the product performs perfectly, it probably won’t mean a raise or a promotion for the person who made the call. So, ask yourself what problem you’re solving for that individual and how you can benefit them.
- You forgot to edit your message. Many building materials company messages are like a Ginsu Knife infomercial. “But wait, wait – there’s more!” Rather than adding benefits, you should be cutting them back. Edit your message down to the top few reasons why your product is better. Apple products didn’t gain traction because they loaded their messaging with lists of benefits. Figure out the top one, two, or three reasons you’re the better choice and focus on those.
How to Develop a More Effective Message
To wrap things up, here are five things you should do if you want to improve the effectiveness of your sales message.
- Decide on what type of customer to focus on (for example, architects who design multi-family residences)
- Determine the key benefits to your target customer
- Develop the words and images that communicate your benefits
- Use this message across all mediums
- Measure results and improve
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