Basics of Sales 2: Messaging

oliver gwynne messaging

At the heart of any sales/marketing effort is messaging. Here’s a little exercise I like to do with people. Think of just 3 attributes you would like to be known for. Write them down for me.

Just 3 Attributes

The interesting thing about this exercise is how often the attributes people put down do not actually match those that their customers want! A few examples for you here. Quite often of only 3 attributes they could promote people will pick honesty. Now as a customer…I expect honesty! If one of your key messages is to say you are honest, then frankly I find that suspicious! One person was in an industry where they made products to a customer’s specification and wanted to be known as knowledgeable. Now as a client, I expect you’ve got the knowledge to make my product otherwise I wouldn’t hire you. I’m more interested in your service levels, turnaround and price. Think carefully about the 3 things that customers really want from you and your business. These are going to be specific things that are repeated time and again, the core of all your marketing and sales efforts.


The key to any good sales messaging is understanding the real reason that people are buying from you. I’m not talking about product features or shiny branding here. In a lot of marketing books they will tell you not to sell the product but sell ‘the solution’ to the problem your product solves. This seems to have given rise to an awful lot of businesses with ‘solutions’ in their title! Although not always as black and white as this it’s often a good idea to ask why the customer can’t just do this themselves. For example most people could write an article to promote their business, but hiring a copywriter saves them the time and effort and won’t suffer from bad grammar/spellings. Getting constant feedback on where exactly your business is valuable is key in shaping what you say to the world.


The last thing to remember when it comes to messaging is that while the core of your message stays the same, the actual message will change depending on the format of where it’s going and who you’re delivering it to. Flexibility is a key area to success when it comes to getting the most out of your sales.