Effective Communications

3C’s of Communication Part 1. The 1st C = The Context.

This is not a White Paper! White Papers pretend to be unbiased.

This is an edited copy of a post from May, 2016

by Ted Steinberg, Co-founder

 

The 3 C’s of how everyone communicates are:

  1. The Context of The Communication = where the communicator is coming from. (The recipient picks up on this. We do not need to tell them, nor should we, unless we want to sound ridiculously terrific.)
  2. The Concept of The Communication = the rationale for why we are communicating with them. (We need to tell them why we are doing this, no matter what, unless we have something to hide.)
  3. The Content of The Communication = the stuff, details, features, benefits, opportunity, etc. we are communicating, which we want them to know. (Less is More! The less content the better, and eliminate the self-congratulatory phrases and put the product superlatives in the trash where they belong. Save the plaudits about your company for the recipients to decide upon. Customers like to sell themselves.)

 

Only Two Contexts of Your Communications.

Understanding The Context of a Communication, While DebunkingWin:Win.

There are only two contexts for how you hold your communications with customers: 1 = “You And Me,” 2 = “You Or Me”.

FYI, You and Me is not Win:Win, and You or Me is not Win:Lose. The context of a communication (written, spoken, video, web, display, etc.)  is only dependent on how you hold (take) whatever you get from whatever is taking place with customers, before, during, and after, any interaction with them. You And Me and You Or Me are 100% dependent on you and your take, and 0% (zero percent) dependent on the other party’s take.

Win:Win is a 50/50 dream where things are supposed to be equal. Business is give and take, and rarely do both parties feel that things are equal at any given moment when they might be examining their feelings about the relationship at the same time or other times. If you believe in Win:Win, good luck, because it’s nothing but an over-used buzzword: over-used, yet rarely experienced by either party. The beholder’s real world is their own world.

The context of You And Me, or Your Or Me, is a choice. Since the only person who can control your choice is you, don’t waste your energy on trying to make the other person conform to your belief system, for which the initials are inevitably revealing. Thus, the choice to accept or resist is always yours to make, since you are always the beholder of how you hold (take) whatever is happening.

What is The Context of Your Communications & Sales Activities?

What do you primarily want customers to do for you?

  1. Do you want them to buy from you? Yes. Maybe. No.
  2. Do you want them to Accept & Acknowledge you? And be your friend? Yes. Maybe. No.
  3. Do you want them to Understand you? And what you have to say? Yes. Maybe. No.
  4. Do you want them to Agree with you? Yes. Maybe. No.
  5. Do you also want them to do business with you? Now and in the future? Yes. Maybe. No.

What do you primarily want to do for customers?

  1. Do you want to sell them? Yes. Maybe. No.
  2. Do you want to Accept & Acknowledge them? And be their friend? Yes. Maybe. No.
  3. Do you want to Understand them? And what they have to say? Yes. Maybe. No.
  4. Do you want to Agree with them? Yes. Maybe. No.
  5. Do you also want to do business with them? Now and in the future? Yes. Maybe. No.

 

3C’s of Communication Part 2. The 2nd C = The Concept.

This is not a White Paper! White Papers pretend to be unbiased.

This is an edited copy of a post from May, 2016

by Ted Steinberg, Co-founder

 

The 3 C’s of how everyone communicates are:

  1. The Context of The Communication = where the communicator is coming from. (The recipient picks up on this. We do not need to tell them, nor should we, unless we want to sound ridiculously terrific.)
  2. The Concept of The Communication = the rationale for why we are communicating with them. (We need to tell them why we are doing this, no matter what, unless we have something to hide.)
  3. The Content of The Communication = the stuff, details, features, benefits, opportunity, etc. we are communicating, which we want them to know. (Less is More! The less content the better, and eliminate the self-congratulatory phrases and put the product superlatives in the trash where they belong. Save the plaudits about your company for the recipients to decide upon. Customers like to sell themselves.)

The Concept of Your Communication = Why Are You Communicating?

Understanding The Concept of Your Communications.

  • The recipient (singular, never plural) wants to know more than, “what’s this?” The recipient wants to know, “what’s this about?” The recipient subliminally wants to know, “why should I pay attention to this?”
  • Even if the communication attracts their attention, and even if it was initially a distraction, the recipient will want to know your reason for communicating with him or her, always singular, never plural. Huh? All recipients are beholders. All beholders are individuals.
  • All individuals are 1st person singular; 1st person singulars, at the moment, they notice your communication, written or stated, by whatever means, direct or indirect, are all “me’s.” For that matter everybody is a me. Individuals want to know your underlying reasons for this communication.

Types of Sales & Marketing Communications.

Communications are designed & modified for promotional and sales purposes.

  1. whether stated or implied.
  2. whether direct to specific recipients,
  3. whether indirect to targeted or general recipients

Communications consist of: (the preceding paragraph describes the modifiers.)

  1. Locations which offer content and various communications (web based or geophysical).
  2. Events.
  3. Promotions.
  4. Sales Material.
  5. Sales Conversations from prospecting to selling to taking orders to expanding the customer relationship.

Simple Rationales for a Sales & Marketing Communication.

  1. You want to get new customers & you want to keep them.
  2. You need to make a promise that will get them.
  3. You need to get their attention so you can make the promise.

Involved Rationale for a Sales & Marketing Communication.

  1.  Primary Goal = you want to sell them on doing business with you, regardless of if or when or what they buy. The Matchmaker’s Triangle describes this Goal as a “Doing Business Relationship.”
  2. Primary Goal = you want to sell them something. (Some things.) The Matchmaker’s Triangle describes this Goal as a “Product Purchasing Relationship.”

Considerations.

  • If your primary goal is to make a product sale with the idea that, later on, your product purchasing relationship can be expanded into a broader, more encompassing, relationship, you may be able to succeed. If, however, the product/s you were presenting were not bought by the customer, you will find it harder to switch to the broader approach. Changing horses in the middle of the stream has its consequences, which is why, “it’s best to ride a horse in the direction it’s going.” Chinese Proverb.
  • However, if your primary by goal is to sell them on doing business with you, whenever, AND assuming you will share your rationale, you will have attentive recipients.
  • If your communication states (spoken or written): “we want to sell you on doing business with us whenever and however you choose,” or via something similar, you’re on your way to the promised land, where promises are made and accepted and kept. Yippee!

3C’s of Communication Part 3. The 3rd C = The Content.

This is not a White Paper! White Papers pretend to be unbiased.

This is an edited copy of a post from May, 2016

by Ted Steinberg, Co-founder

 

The 3 C’s of how everyone communicates are:

  1. The Context of The Communication = where the communicator is coming from. (The recipient picks up on this. We do not need to tell them, nor should we, unless we want to sound ridiculously terrific.)
  2. The Concept of The Communication = the rationale for why we are communicating with them. (We need to tell them why we are doing this, no matter what, unless we have something to hide.)
  3. The Content of The Communication = the stuff, details, features, benefits, opportunity, etc. we are communicating, which we want them to know. (Less is More! The less content the better, and eliminate the self-congratulatory phrases and put the product superlatives in the trash where they belong. Save the plaudits about your company for the recipients to decide upon. Customers like to sell themselves.)

The Content of Your Communication = What are you offering?

Understanding The Content of Your Communications.

Like everyone in business, what you are offering (selling) is capable of being quantified, and since all things are quantifiable, no matter how you intend to dress up your communications with catchy phrases, you sell stuff. I sell stuff, you sell stuff, all god’s children sell stuff, especially when we pretend we really aren’t selling stuff, or if we are forced to admit that we sell stuff, our stuff is better than their stuff. (Their stuff = what they already have or what they might be thinking of buying from our horrible competition.)

Since you sell stuff, the content of your communications (spoken or written) will need to have some features and benefits so that your recipients will like your stuff.

Before we focus on the good stuff (great content), which all communications need let’s look at the Concept (the rationale) for what we want the communication/s to provide. Let’s pretend your products and services (the content) are contained in a vessel, and your vessel is on an ocean, and your vessel is coming from somewhere, and you’re headed somewhere. Your stuff is the Content, and you vessel is the vehicle (media, website, brochure, sales talk) which contains your stuff, and where you are headed and why is the Concept, and the way you hold your relationships with your associates and customers is the psychological climate (the Context) which affects where you are headed, and why, and where you are coming from.

Your Communications Reveal The 3C’s.

  1. The Context is the climate. Your climate, the one you have decided to operate within, is either.
    1. You AND Me. (And is a multiplier. And = a cooperation.)
    2. You OR Me. (Or is a divider. Or = a contest.)
  2. The Concept is your journey and why you are taking it. There are only two objectives (why you are communicating) for marketing and sales communications:
    1. You want to sell a Doing Business Relationship to the recipient/s.
    2. You want to sell a Product Purchasing Relationship to the recipient/s.
  3. The Content is what you are offering. There are only four subjects which describe the features and benefits, and the opportunities and value of what you want to sell them according to the relationship you wish to have with the customer. (See preceding paragraph.)
    1. The Product = simply described without the puffery. Short sentences, Save the “good, better, best” superlatives for your associates. No bragging to customers.
    2. The Support = pre-decision (pre-sale) & post-decision (post-sale) support.
    3. The Proposition =pricing, terms & conditions which you offer. (Since most sellers have “value propositions,” there is no point in pretending that one is better than the other unless a seller has a Specific Proposition which less than 1% of potential customers might receive. In all cases this Specific Proposition is customized to suit the situation, and never presented in a glossy format. It is always verbal and delivered in person, and when it is accepted, then it is reduced to writing. Thus, every seller has a general way of doing business, and this should be described in The Proposition.
    4. The Company = a bit of history. No mission statements. No self-congratulatory smoke. About us should be personal with a touch of biographical information. Save the nobility for your family and friends. When they laugh at you, you won’t be upset because you’re used to it!

 

Added Thoughts:

  1. The quality of your content depends on the quality of the concept (your reason) for communicating it.
  2. Your Content and The Concept are dependent on the Context of how you hold your relationships with others, especially customers.
    1. If the Context of your communication is You AND Me, your ship sails in fair weather.
    2. If the Context of your communication is You OR Me, your ship sails in bad weather. Bring a life raft; you’ll need one!
  3. Pretend you’re Mark Twain. Before he chose Mark Twain for a pen name, he was Samuel Longhorn Clemens, and as a cub reporter he was advised by his editor, “write for the ear, Sam.” From that moment forward he listened to the words he wrote. He had two pieces of advice for people who wanted to write:
    1. “Write for the ear.” (My take on his advice: read your copy out loud as though you’re talking to yourself. If it sounds good or bad, it is,)
    2. “Cross out the unnecessary words.” (25 years ago, I restated Mark Twain’s advice for the benefit of Adobe’s Vice President of North American Sales, Tom Dyer. He laughed, “what are you trying to do, put us out of business.”)
  4. You’re not Charles Dickens. Before he was a famous popular author, he got paid by the word. (Wordy communications rarely communicate. So there!)

 

 

3C’s of Communication Part 4. Project Mode = Projecting.

This is not a White Paper! White Papers pretend to be unbiased.

This is an edited copy of a post from May, 2016

by Ted Steinberg, Co-founder

 

The 3 C’s of how everyone communicates are:

  1. The Context of The Communication = where the communicator is coming from. (The recipient picks up on this. We do not need to tell them, nor should we, unless we want to sound ridiculously terrific.)
  2. The Concept of The Communication = the rationale for why we are communicating with them. (We need to tell them why we are doing this, no matter what, unless we have something to hide.)
  3. The Content of The Communication = the stuff, details, features, benefits, opportunity, etc. we are communicating, which we want them to know. (Less is More! The less content the better, and eliminate the self-congratulatory phrases and put the product superlatives in the trash where they belong. Save the plaudits about your company for the recipients to decide upon. Customers like to sell themselves.)

What Takes Place in Project Mode?

Intentional Grounding:

1.     In Project Mode we are Projecting = We are thinking; we are not acting, therefore we are not communicating with customers, unless, rarely, we have some designated customers who have agree to join us in matchmaking what we want to communicate to whom, and how we want to do so. These customers are directly involved as opposed to surveys and other forms of feedback.

2.     In Project Mode, we are not selling. Marketing is the homework, selling is the test! We can avoid our homework, we can never avoid the test. Consequently, in Project Mode, we are doing our homework.

3.     In Project Mode, we are Projecting WHAT we intend to communicate in Production Mode, where are selling. (We are Structuring Deliverable Offerings, whose context, concept, and content will get the attention of customers and keep their attention, because the offerings will be attractive and acknowledging, too.)

4.     In Project Mode, we are Projecting HOW we intend to communicate in Production Mode, where are selling. (All communications, direct or indirect, stated or implied, are sales communications. Thus, marketing material, advertising, websites, etc., and sales presentations are sales communications, whose context, concept, and content will get the attention of customers and keep their attention, because the offerings will be attractive and acknowledging, too.)

5.     In Project Mode, we are Projecting what it is we want to have happen in Production Mode. (We are projecting our results = we are forecasting!)

6.     In Project Mode, our communications are Projecting to the customer: Who we are, What we offer, How we sell, and to Whom. (When we are projecting well, it is easier for the customer to accept, understand, and agree with what is happening, and decide to do business with us. When we are projecting poorly, it is easier for the customer to resist, misunderstand, and disagree with what is happening, and decide not to do business with us.)

What Steps Take Place in Project Mode?

{The purpose of each step is to get us to the next step. Each step becomes the foundation for everything that follows. The value of successive steps depend on the combined value of the preceding steps.]

1.     Preparation = where we are thinking of ways to reach our objective. (Our overall, non-specific, objection, always is: “to Produce & Maximize Valuable Customer Relationships – on purpose, in any selling situation.” (We are always preparing.)

2.     Planning = where we are planning to utilize whichever way makes sense to us, based on doing our homework as to Who, What, and How we can sell. The Who = how many customers might need, want, or demand what we have to offer? These issues deal with the TAM (Total Available Market), and SAM (Served Available Market, based on what we now have for sale and what is is that these customers are buying or not buying from other resources. SAM is always less than TAM. The customers in TAM & SAM are segmented by size, type, interests, and what rationales might exist for why they would like our offerings. Planning includes developing structured and deliverable offering, and the best sales and communication methods. (We are always planning, even when we are promoting)

3.     Promoting = what we have decided to communicate (project = a verb) and by what method = The How. (We are always promoting, even when we are prospecting.)

4.     Prospecting = who do we intend contact, and how do we intend to do so, and what do we intend to use as the mind opener/s which will cause the customers to sell themselves on accepting, understanding, and agreeing that paying attention to our activity is a good idea. (We are always prospecting, even when we are selling, before, during, and after the customer decided to do business with us.)

5.     Selling, part 1 = Beginning the sales event/s. Customers look, listen, touch, smell, and taste (whatever is applicable), and decide to go forward, stay put, or leave, based on who well they accepted, understood, and agreed with what’s happening, in terms with the degree which they may need, want, or demand what we offer and who it is we are. (Warning! Customers may need what you offer, but they may not want you to sell it to them.)

6.     Selling, part 2 = Continuing the sales event/s. [Same issues as above.)

7.     Selling, part 3 = Finishing the sales event/s. (Same issues as above.)

8.     Satisfying the Agreement = they decided to do business with you and they bought something, too. Now, the seller has to satisfy their side of the agreement. So does the buyer.

9.     Maximizing the Relationship = we (the sellers) decide to see what else, and how else, we can serve = with more of the same or different products & services.

Note: This post is a broad-brush description of the nuts and bolts of creating deliverable communications. Future posts deal with how to make sure your sales efforts are congruent (marketing-wise and sales-wise) with your intentions. When your marketing efforts are perfectly annealed with your sales efforts, you can’t tell the difference, and you don’t care.

 

3C’s of Communication Part 5. Production Mode = Productivity.

 

This is not a White Paper! White Papers pretend to be unbiased.

This is an edited copy of a post from May, 2016

by Ted Steinberg, Co-founder

 

The 3 C’s of how everyone communicates are:

  1. The Context of The Communication = where the communicator is coming from. (The recipient picks up on this. We do not need to tell them, nor should we, unless we want to sound ridiculously terrific.)
  2. The Concept of The Communication = the rationale for why we are communicating with them. (We need to tell them why we are doing this, no matter what, unless we have something to hide.)
  3. The Content of The Communication = the stuff, details, features, benefits, opportunity, etc. we are communicating, which we want them to know. (Less is More! The less content the better, and eliminate the self-congratulatory phrases and put the product superlatives in the trash where they belong. Save the plaudits about your company for the recipients to decide upon. Customers like to sell themselves.)

What Are You Producing In Production Mode?

  1. The Sales Communications you structured in Project Mode – which will:
    1. Project who you are, what you sell, how you sell, and whom you are already doing business.
    2. Get & Keep the Attention of Customers who will want to do business with you.
    3. Get & Keep the Attention of Customers who will want to buy your products and services, too.
  2. The Sales Activities you structured in Project Mode – which will:
    1. Project who you are, what you sell, how you sell, and whom you are already doing business.
    2. Get & Keep the Attention of Customers who will want to do business with you.
    3. et & Keep the Attention of Customers who will want to buy your products and services, too.

All Communications & Activities Breed Acceptance & Resistance, Too!

Even in the best of times, 100% of the recipients won’t Accept what you are doing. Welcome to the sales business!

Even in the worst of times, 100% of the recipients won’t Resist what you are doing. Welcome to the sales business!

·       Making The Sale First breeds more resistance than acceptance. (In this case, you need to make a sale before your prospect becomes a customer. The pressure is on you; when it’s on you it’s on your customer. Who put it there? You did. You’re the one who’s making the communication. Unfortunate communications imply, “we’re great” or “aren’t we great?” Fortunate communications imply, “you’re great.”)

·       Making The Customer First breeds more acceptance than resistance. (in this case, in your mind & in the customer’s mind, the prospect is already a customer. As you know, it’s easier to be with a customer you already are doing business with than a prospect. There’s less tension, unless, unfortunately, your customer is dissatisfied.)

The more emphasis you put on making sales rather than customers, the more resistance you will meet and the more involved the sales conversation will need to be and thus the more expertise will be needed by salespeople. That’s why sales systems that are expertise based never get the job done. They are self fulfilling perpetual motion machines, whereby, the more you time and money you spend on learning the “secrets” of how to get your own way the more you will need to spend. It’s a great money machine for somebody. Is it for the salesperson or is it for the customer or whom?

Oops Galore = What If Your Communications Fail?

Avoiding Mistakes & Fixing Those You Forgot To Avoid:

When you are selling and you make a mistake how will you know?

Is it because you got caught? Or found out? (Probably that’s what happened.)

  1. Mistakes which take place at the level of context are hardest to fix.
  2. Mistakes which take place at the level of concept are harder to fix.
  3. Mistakes which take place at the level of content are easy to fix.

Contextual mistakes are nearly impossible to fix. It’s hard to tell the person you were not operating in a You OR Me Context when you were out to get them.

When you’re focused on making a sale rather than paying attention to the process of making a customer, your mistakes will be harder to correct because the context you created was You OR Me.

If, however you are focused on You AND Me, via good matchmaking, you won’t be as concerned about getting everything right in order to get them to buy.

When you take the pressure off yourself, you take the pressure off your customer. When your customers have the opportunity to sell themselves in a pressure free environment, it’s easier for them to enjoy your communications, activities, and offerings.