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Communication Mistakes That Stop You Selling

How much of an attention span would you say you have when scrolling through social media? What exactly is it that catches your attention? Today’s audiences are often very polarised when it comes to what they accept. Often an individual’s social media is a carefully tailored echo chamber thoughts, political leanings and opinions. This makes it increasingly tricky for communications professionals having to embrace modern themes and thoughts, to impart knowledge to their audience. But, as previously stated, with most users used to their curated corner of the internet, a lot of conversational styles or themes will be met with scrutiny. The modern communications professional will need to be more sensitive to the traditionally controversial elements that many big brands have utilised in the past to connect with their audience. So, what are some of the communication mistakes that you’re making to stop you from selling?

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Sell, Sell, Sell

If all you’ve got to say is sales then nobody is going to listen. Your messages should above all else be human. There needs to be a good balance between emotion and rationality in your content. The tone is also just as important concerning the current context of the world in which it sits. Many businesses make this communication mistake.

An audience is much more likely to be receptive to the offer of lending a hand – not making a sale. A posture of support spotlights the message that your company is there and ready to face customer or client challenges head-on. 

Promote Relationships, Not Your Services 

I’m not saying you can’t promote your services ever. You just need to manage the flow. If a reader feels bombarded because your posts or advertisements are all over their social media feeds there’s every chance they’ll go ‘company blind’. 

As soon as they see your font or your logo or even your colour palette – it’s game over. It will be subconsciously registered as a ‘nuisance post’, it doesn’t get read and they immediately scroll past. It’s easy to see how this happens because brands can get caught up in oversharing due to it being easier and more accessible than ever before. 

So, to prevent this from happening, whether it’s emails, ads or calls – slow down. The digital world is about social selling and building engagement (not chasing it away). Form and cultivate relationships with the people you’d like to work with or sell to. It’s more about taking a journey with that person and educating them on how what you have to offer can help them out. 

Most importantly, make sure you’re connecting with them on their terms (i.e. don’t spam them with connection requests if they decline) and use the platforms they prefer to interact on. Be accommodating! This does take a little more time and effort but it’s much more effective and stands out in a world of fast-paced, digital selling. 

Don’t Bash The Competition

There’s nothing wrong with name-dropping your competitors. But don’t bash them! Of course, feel free to talk about what makes your company superior to others out there. But do so in a way that highlights your differences. It doesn’t reflect well on your brand and often won’t persuade someone to choose your products or service over another. They do say people like an underdog – so it may even have the opposite effect! Don’t actively drive potential customers away or give your competition the spotlight. 

Irony, Humour & Sarcasm…

Whilst using any of the above in your messages is a great way to humanise your brand to others, there is a fine line between funny and offensive. The most difficult part of this is that everybody’s sense of humour varies. What one person immediately infers and finds funny from your message, may confuse or offend another. 

Do you market internationally? Another thing you have to consider is that some things just don’t translate. Not words, but more certain catchphrases or tones that might not have the same meaning or effect once translated. Thinking it does is a vital communication mistake. You want your international comms to have the same feel as the messages relayed in your native tongue. If you are international, the chances of you already employing native speakers to those countries is high. This is a sure-fire way to ensure that nothing will be lost in translation!


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