Words matter. Your company success depends on selecting proper words for advertising, or sales processes.
Often the same old words and phrases get used. No doubt, they made a real impact once, but they became almost meaningless now, if only because they've been used so often.If the terms below are used in your marketing, advertising, or sales processes, put yourself at customer's position and you will see how tired they look and sound:
1. "Customer focused."
Should you be anything except customer focused? If the goal is to imply that other providers are not customer focused, then just tell how you're better: quicker response times, greater availability, customized processes or systems, etc.
Explain in concrete terms how you will meet my specific needs.
2. "Exceed expectations."
Exceeding expectations is an admirable goal, and one every company should aspire to, but exceeding expectations should be an internal and not an external goal.
Just tell exactly what you will do. Let the customer judge whether you truly go above and beyond expectations.
3. "Best in class."
There are two problems with that term: Who defined your "class," and who determined you were the "best" in it?
Detail your accomplishments, awards, and results. Customers don’t need the best in class; they need the best for them - so tell them objectively how you will provide the best value for their needs.
4. "Low-hanging fruit."
Specialists love this one. The problem is, when you say, "We'll start with the low-hanging fruit," custumers hear, "We'll start with the really easy stuff you really should have done yourself."
No business wants to hear they have low-hanging fruit. Just describe, in cost-benefit terms, how you prioritized your list of projects or tasks.
Snowflakes are “unique”, but nowadays few products and services have no like or equal for long.
So, if a customer is considering whether to hire your firm or buy your products, "unique" means nothing to them. Customers want "better." Describe how you're better for their needs.
6. "Value added."
Under this term is often implied that a customer will receive something for little to no incremental cost. Of course, that really means that what's received isn't value added because it's a part of the overall deal.
Tell customers the deal, explain all the options and add-ons, and help them figure out how they can take full advantage of what you provide.
Anyone can claim to be an expert; real experts can prove it. So show what you can do, and let customer decide how expert you are. For example, "Web 2.0 expert" can be read as, "We can plop videos and marginally interactive applications on any website." On the other hand, saying, "Built websites for... " or, "Created applications that... " and showing examples allows potential customers to evaluate your level of expertise and its suitability for their needs.
9. "Outstanding ROI."
Everyone loves a great return on investment. But without access to customer’s numbers, you can't accurately calculate her/his ROI. Therefore, your estimate is either theoretical or based on another customer's results. Show the costs, don't hide anything, and trust customers to calculate their own ROI. If they are not smart enough to do so, they probably don't have purchase authority anyway, so you're wasting your time.
Long-term business relationships are great, but you and your customers will never truly be partners until the day their hands can reach into your pocket like yours reaches into theirs. Still, maybe one day a customer could come to see your business relationship as a quasi-partnership... but that's something they will decide based on your long-term performance, not your marketing.
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