One of the biggest mistakes Built World sales and marketing people make is not staying focused on their message. They tell the customer why they are a better choice once and assume the message got through.
They might tell a homebuilder that “Our product requires less labor to install, so you can complete the building sooner.” Then they kick back and wait for the customer to make a move.
When they don’t, they start offering even more reasons why they’re better. They’ll rattle off things like:
When they get desperate, they’ll even reach for the worst message: “We cost less!”
They can list reasons until they’re blue in the face, it probably won’t get them the results they wanted.
In fact, they’re making things worse. Each of those messages competes with the strong message they opened with. It also leaves the customer confused about the product. When they hear about all those benefits, they lose sight of how the product could actually help them. They can barely tell it apart from the ones offered by the competition.
If you want to sell more effectively, you need to avoid that trap. Focus on your strongest message, then repeat that message multiple times in multiple ways.
A study by Robert B. Cialdini, professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University, found that the more times people were exposed to a message, the more likely they were to believe it. In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Cialdini tells us about his rule of thumb for effective frequency. Basically, you have to repeat a message at least three times before it takes hold in the minds of the recipients.
Does that mean you need to make sure your customers hear your strongest message three times? No. I think it should be repeated a minimum of six times.
Why six? Because repeating your message again and again will reinforce your key selling point. The more a customer hears your message, the more likely they are to remember it, understand it, and act on it.
It’s even more effective if your message is streamlined and simple. Take out all the unnecessary fluff and you’ll make it easier to keep in mind.
Think of commercial jingles. You can probably sing dozens of them from memory, even if you haven’t heard them in years. They stick with you because they’re short, punchy, and you heard them more times than you can count.
Your sales message might not be an earworm, but with enough repetition you can still make it stick.
The first time a customer hears your message, it sounds like a sales pitch. When they hear it a few more times, it becomes more than that – it becomes part of your brand.
It’s what they’ll think of first when they think about your business. It changes the way they look at you. They won’t just think of you as a Built World company. They’ll also think of you as the company that will help their business move forward. Or the company that will help them impress clients. Or the one that will help them complete a project more quickly.
Whatever your core message is, it will become part of the way customers perceive you.
A lot of companies struggle with messaging because they think the goal is to create awareness of the product. That’s partly true – all messaging builds awareness. But good messaging also builds trust.
That’s where repetition comes in again. Customers are more likely to trust a brand they recognize, and repeating the same message is how you create that recognition.
The more familiar your message becomes, the more customers will believe in it. It won’t sound like marketing fluff or a hollow promise. They’ll know it’s something they can count on.
If your message is all over the place, it doesn’t give the customer a clear path to action. They don’t have a single, precise idea of what your product can do for them, so it won’t immediately come to mind when they have a problem.
If you stick to a consistent message, your customer won’t just know about your product – they’ll know when they should purchase it too.
Let’s say your strongest selling point is waste reduction. If you present that message to your customers over and over again, they’ll start thinking of you as the ones who cut down waste. When they’re faced with the problem of eliminating waste on a project, they won’t even have to think about it – your product will come to mind immediately.
Repetition is how you create an association between your product and the problem it solves. If customers see the same message often enough, that association will be automatic. As soon as they’re facing that problem, they’ll know exactly how to solve it – reach out to one of your sales reps or place an order directly.
Listing every benefit you can think of and trying to appeal to everyone won’t make your product seem more appealing. Mostly, it will make you seem desperate for a sale.
Highlighting the main benefit will make the customer feel like you’re speaking directly to them and their needs and the problems they deal with. When you nervously point to every benefit or feature your product has, you’re putting the focus on your product instead of the customer. You’re presenting it as a material they can use instead of the solution they might need.
When you muddy your messaging, you look like you’re trying to be everything to everyone instead of trying to reach the people who could benefit the most from your product.
If you stick to a consistent message, that message will build on itself every single time it reaches the customer.
If you tell them six or seven times that your product makes installation easier and quicker, you reinforce that message and make it stronger. But if you pivot and tell them you’re cost-effective instead, you’re basically starting from scratch. Pivot often enough and that initial message will get lost in the weeds.
Sticking to your core message means you never lose momentum. Each repetition makes your message stronger, louder, and more effective.
When you repeatedly emphasize your strongest message, you make it easier for customers to choose your product. They’ll know exactly what your product can do for them and it will come to mind right when they need it most.
It helps if you can also find different ways to present your core message. It can show up in blog posts, on YouTube videos, on social media. Customers might encounter it at trade shows, on your product pages, or in emails.
As long as the message is short and speaks to the customer’s needs, it will have a stronger effect every time they encounter it.
Having a good message is important, but it’s not enough. It takes repetition for it to stick and move your customers to action. If you want customers to buy, make sure they get the right message – and get it often.