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Communication that Gets You Customers

5 Commandments of Gen-X Communication for Increasing Sales

by Prabbal Frank | Version 1.0
Category: Business Communication
Level: Intermediate

Business survives on customers. It needs to be fed constantly with a diet of customers to remain fit. Customers are to business what soul is to man. Every business tries to develop and expand its customer base. Each day thousand of messages compete with each other in their run to win customers. There is nothing more important in business than communicating with the customers.

The noise level in the market is reaching its apex. There is virtually an advertising explosion which is causing an assault on the minds of the customers. There are too many firms pitching in for similar products or services. Further, there are no more niche areas left for new entrants to explore and capitalize upon. Even if someone finds one and develops a newer product, it is becoming increasing difficult to communicate the same in the light of it getting faded away amongst the thousands of other messages knocking the doors of the customers.

Situations are neutral. Intelligent people know how to use them to their advantage. It is called maneuvering. Look at the small children and their joy when they have the recess period. Like every school day has a recess period so does every business cycle. But isn’t there a difference in the attitude towards the recess period when you were a child as compared to when you are an adult now. Terming recess as recession is just adulteration.

Developing a new crop of customers is getting harder day by day because of this increased level of communication and the existing brand loyalty. Just informing the customers of your products and services does not help to sell anymore. You need to do more than just that to keep the wheels of your business spinning.

The paradox is that, although there is communication bombardment everywhere, and under normal circumstances its value should have gone down, but amazingly its value is increasing by mammoth proportions. However, the rules of communication have changed. Whether you want to promote a product, a service, a candidate or your own career you need to adhere to these new commandments of customer communication.

1. Place

Traditional logic would emphasize the need to identify and inform the unique selling points of your product. It will ask you to highlight the main features of your product. Think of the advertisement of Kelvinator which said, “It’s the coolest one.” Well it worked then, but times have moved on. You are not selling a product, you are selling an idea to the mind of the customer. Start thinking in the reverse direction: the point of view of the customer. Ask how does the product help the ultimate customer. What convenience does it provide. Think of the advertisement of the Lays which says, “No one can eat just one.” Is it describing the uniqueness of the product or what happens to the customer when the customer eats it.

Product differentiation is important and to state in clear terms how your product is different than the others is also essential. But this comes only second. First you have to have to find some space in the mind of the customer and therefore you have to talk in a language which is easily and directly identifiable by his mind. Once he identifies your product with the kind of things he is looking for, he would be willing to explore further. The rest can follow. So focus on the customer rather than focusing on the product.

2. Convince

People need logic to justify their decisions. You need to give them these logics. Educate your customer. Tell them how your product works. Give details about the technology on which your product is based. Elaborate the mechanism of its functioning. Let other people give testimony about your product. If you brag about yourself, you will sound less credible. If other people who have used your product will speak good about your product it will leave an indelible impact on them.
While presenting facts to customers remember that truth is not very relevant. What matters are their perceptions. The mind will accept information which synchronizes with its current programming. It is difficult to convince Hindus that reincarnation doesn’t exist and almost impossible to convince Christians that it does. In case you present facts which are in conflict with the perceptions, perceptions are going to win. Treat perceptions as reality and then find out facts which move around those perceptions to convince the customers.

3. Pursuade

A convinced mind may still not be willing to buy the product unless he is motivated to buy it. In order to arouse this willingness to buy in him or her you need to use something that attracts him. Convincing belongs to the world of logic while persuasion belongs to the heart. Emotions are stronger than logics. Most people are unrational. They’re not completely rational and they’re not completely irrational. They’re somewhere in between.
The product should appeal to the customer. Packaging is equally important than the content. Popular attractors across ages have been innocence, wit and beauty. If tomorrow this ceases to be true, the advertising industry will come to a standstill!

4. Choose Words

Word the communication carefully. Words are just the indicators of the indicated. The meanings are not in the words. They are in the minds of the people using the words. Choose the words which trigger the exact meanings which you want to communicate. The easiest way to initiate a change in the image of the product, service, candidate or yourself is to change the words which are communicated to describe you.
Words are the tools of thought. Mind thinks with words and not abstract thoughts. With the right selection of words, you can influence the thinking process itself.

5. Simplify

Simplification is vital. People won’t assert their minds to understand concepts which are hard to comprehend. Restate the facts in a language which is easily and readily understandable by masses. See how the software companies around the world have come up with easy words for various functions which their software can perform. Even the American newspaper editors write in a manner which is understandable by a student of 6th grade.

The above mentioned ingredients are essential for any form of communication to get you customers whether it is introduction letters, product/service brochures or advertisements.

About the Author

The writer is an author and an acknowledged soft skills trainer. He can be reached at prabbal.frank@gmail.com for any comments.