So, you’ve got a great product or service, your sales team are ready, and you’re ready to rock…. but wait… how will you make your proposition stand out like a siren above all the noise of your competitors?

But wait…the trouble is it’s just too easy to get hung up about why YOU think you’re great, forgetting that it really doesn’t matter what you think!

Do any of these banal statements (below) sound familiar?

“We’re passionate about continuing to push the creative, technical and customer care boundaries.”

“We ensure customers receive the correct advice first time whilst making certain that cost savings are a priority.”

“We get close to our customers’ needs by talking their language and delivering bespoke solutions….”

“A refreshing approach to integrated marketing.”

And here’s an absolute corker:

“Solution Providers′ clients receive a comprehensive service which covers each phase of the project cycle, complemented by systematic analysis of client-relevant conceptual issues.”

What exactly do these words mean? And will prospective clients really understand why they should use you and not one of your competitors?

The truth? It’s not about you. People buy what they want to buy (services and products). And they need to feel reassured that what they are buying is right for them. It can even go further in bigger companies where decisions are often made based on what’s the ‘safe choice’, rather than what might actually be best for the business.

I spent part of my career working with the buyers of B&Q and it was fascinating to see how the psychology worked. The buyer loved our product, but was fighting his anxiety: “I love it, but what if I get it wrong?”. That’s not an unusual place for the buyer of a service. And it’s not a coincidence that the FTSE 100 companies almost exclusively work with one of the Big 4 accountants. That’s not to say the Big 4 are necessarily the best option, it’s more about a defensive stance, so you’ll not be blamed for using a challenger accountancy firm! It’s the safe option.

So how can you package up the essence of what your business does to alleviate any anxiety and to present a compelling argument for the prospect to engage? 

How can you ‘frame your bait’, so your potential clients will bite and want to know more about your products or services?

Well for starters, let’s not do any selling… and secondly, remember it’s never about you and your passion or how much you care. 

It is about how good your business is, how competitive your prices, how effective your operation is. It’s a given that you’re passionate and that you care! The really important point is, you have to prove it and not just say it!

Keeping things simple for a moment – you might well go to a restaurant with ★★★★★ stars on Trip Advisor, and not one with ★★ stars. And whatever the restaurant website says, it’s so often the experience of others (like you) that matters.

If your service isn’t up to it, the words are just empty platitudes; they mean nothing and will often build resentment against the brand.

And that’s why brands renowned for good customer service do so well. John Lewis, a great example, means quality, service, and “never knowingly undersold”. Customers know, like and trust what they stand for because they’re true to their word.

So, next time you’re ‘framing your bait’, think carefully about what the words actually mean – and whether they’re actually true!

Because surely it’s a given that:

• Marketing people are ‘creative and measure the results’

• Dentists fix teeth!

• Consultants will ‘talk your language’

• Telecoms people will ‘make cost savings a priority’

• Training companies will provide a ‘unique range of courses and workshops’

Your words need substance. Otherwise, you may as well just be telling your prospects “Your call is important to us”. And you’re fooling no one but yourself.

If you’d like to know more, and this really is just the tip of the iceberg, get in touch, I’d be happy to help you frame your bait.