GUEST: Dr. Jim Karrh, Consultant and Professional Speaker at Karrh & Associates and Author of The Science of Customer Connections
Opportunity generation ultimately drives revenue.
And it comes down to the interplay between 3 things:
Message, messenger and management habits.
In this episode, we discuss:
- The elements of great messaging
- Why everyone can sell — even introverts
- Why a central source of conversational truth is important
The 3-legged stool of messaging
Let’s take a look at why Jim breaks down messaging into these 3 components and how we can use that to drive revenue.
“I tend to think of really good messaging as a three-legged stool. And think of the legs of message, messengers and management habits.”
One of the reasons Jim distills it down into such a seemingly simple equation is because selling is complicated. How we sell, how we buy — these are messy issues.
And that complexity is often what leads companies to, let’s face it, fail in their message.
You need a simple, scientific approach to tackling this problem.
When you think of your organization’s message, is it your mission/vision statement?
Because, if so, you need to cut that out. You need a good story, not a mission statement.
In case you are wondering why, just think about the last terrible conversation you had with someone. What made that conversation the audio equivalent of chloroform?
9 times out of 10, it’s because they are too self-referential — people who only talk about themselves are lousy conversation partners. And they usually tell awful stories. Worse still, their stories sound like everyone else’s.
And that’s exactly the problem with your messaging if you are relying on a mission statement.
Don’t be that person.
Instead, your story needs to operate like a good conversation: something shareable, relevant, bite-sized, memorable and, above all else, actually interesting.
Be brutal about getting your whole organization to strip the message into the right components.
The messengers component is thinking about the other people inside your organization who will be carrying your message — typically your sales teams, marketing and anyone who has customer contact.
All of these teams need to have at least some pieces of your message that they are ready, comfortable and confident in sharing with the world.
It’s also important to consider your fan base because, through word of mouth — which, yes, still matters — they will also be your messengers.
Make sure your message is clear enough that it spreads organically.
3) Management Habits
The final leg that makes sure the stool doesn’t topple.
Management habits are the ways that we bake our message into how we meet, talk, coach, reward, support and socialize.
Every one of these combines to create the culture of your company.
And if these threads are infused with your message at every step, the final silken tapestry will be woven with a high thread count of your message.
This means people in your organization will know exactly what to say and will have developed the skills through repetition to be confident with your message.
Everyone can sell
Speaking of confidence…
There is a decades-old misconception that only extroverted people make great salespeople.
“What we've come to learn over time with real salespeople is that extraversion or introversion don’t really make a difference in terms of effectiveness.”
The truth is… most great salespeople are ambiverts — what Jim calls “the nimble majority.
And that’s because they understand the give and take of a conversation. They know when to shut up about themselves. They know how to empathize.
Which isn’t to say extroverts and introverts can’t make great salespeople — both have methods they can employ to make great conversationalists.
Why does this clarification matter?
Because your messengers should be your entire organization, not just your salespeople.
Don’t let outdated stereotypes about what makes a good messenger limit and, ultimately, kill your message’s potential.
A central source of conversational truth
Okay, so we’re breaking out the fancy terms now: Your company needs one central source of conversational truth.
And… it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
“I do recommend a co-creation type of approach and there needs to be a central source of conversational truth.”
It’s basically just creating a playbook — a guide that keeps track of your ideal clients/personas, questions to ask, stories to share and plans for world domination. Okay, that last one is optional.
The point is to avoid these incredibly boring vision statements other companies have their employees memorize so they can go bore other people to death with them.
Instead of dictating a mantra, you’ll be allowing your messengers to internalize the message, tell better stories and prepare for the real questions they need to ask and answer.
You will build momentum for your message and, in the end, street cred.
That way, your message is not some one-way platitude; instead, it’s a good conversation.