Here’s why so many marketing and sales messages fail to deliver.

The average person is hit with the equivalent of more than 34 Gb (gigabytes) of information in a single day.

That’s more than enough info to max out my 64 Gb iPad in less than two days. In order to deal with this onslaught of input, the brain engages in some amazing mental gymnastics.

What messages cut through the noise?

In Brain Rules, John Medina explains it this way: the brain is designed to first deal with challenges related to survival. So if your message isn’t addressing a question or issue that is top of mind with your target — what must I do to survive this pressing threat? — the brain relegates it to secondary status.

There are certainly markets where the numbers game will generate activity. Send enough messages, make enough calls, knock on enough doors, reframe the question over-and-over, ignore objections, and you’ll close some deals.

But you won’t build many relationships. 

This is not good news when, as a professional, what you’re really offering your best prospects is a pair of trusted hands around issues of great import.

Here’s How To Connect

There are three characteristics present in the best professional service marketing, business development and sales messages.

1. Address a problem.

This gets the brain’s attention. And it should be all the incentive you need to learn everything you can about the industry, operational challenges, trends, opportunities and existential challenges of your target market.

The generic message touting your experience, client-centeredness, and recognition from peers (1) sounds like everyone else’s pitch and (2) isn’t about the challenge that is top-of-mind for your market.

2. Position a relationship with you/your specific offering as the solution to the problem.

Where the brain is concerned, naming the problem buys you some attention. Step two is to drive home the idea that (a) your specific offering solves the problem or (b) a relationship with you is the key to resolution. 

3. Issue a call to action.

With a clear connection between the problem faced by your target and the solution that comes via a working relationship with you, the message that gets results — that is, the message that generates a response and produces a return makes the next step in establishing the relationship easy. Even irresistible.

The effective business development/sales message comes with a call to action that is hard to resist and easy to execute.

Your investment in business development and sales should be producing measurable return…in terms of new leads, new clients and deeper relationships.

You can play the numbers game and do okay if you have the time and resources to become ubiquitous.

But if you want to experience measurable results, focus on creating a message that begins with your target’s problem, positions a relationship with you as the solution and calls on your target to take the next (easy) step.