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Words that Sell – Are You Picking the Wrong Ones?

Do you feel like your marketing is driving sales away instead of increasing sales?  Maybe the selling words you are using don’t work.  They may be on your billboards, brochures, paper-based ads, your website, and more.  Let’s find out about how your company’s selling words are working.

Quick Test 1: Grade your organization’s marketing health.  When your company develops selling words, do they:

  1. Establish a randomly selected focus group? (+1)
  2. Gather strong wording from corporate managers to drive sales? (+1)
  3. List great technical specs from engineering to use directly in marketing materials.(+1)
  4. Combine standard “words that sell” with a generic product or service related to your company.(+1)
  5. Use similar wording from a competitor (called copy cat marketing by the Duct Tape Marketing guru). (+1)

Add up your points.  How did you do?  High score?  Umm, a higher score indicates your selling words probably stink on ice.  Oops!

The grade scale for Quick Test 1 is shown below:

  • 0-2 points means you are probably OK and can probably survive tough & competitive times.
  • 3-4 points means your company has excessive risk of sales problems.
  • 5 (FIVE!?!) points.  Can you fax out your resume today and start saving for hard times?  That marketing smells like August road kill.

Quick Test 2: Last one, I promise.  Time for a marketing health checkup – how are things since the last quick test?  When your company develops selling words, do they:

  1. Survey your new clients & prospects while asking “What attracted you to our company?” and “How would you describe our product/service to a friend?” [+1]
  2. Use Tested Advertising Methods like A/B testing in newspapers or in Google Adwords? [+1]
  3. Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool (free) to get ideas for keywords people are using to find you? [+1]
  4. Analyze wording used by high performing sales personnel to develop best practices? [+1]
  5. Emphasize product benefits to the buyer instead of dry technical specifications? [+1]

How did you do?  A high score is good this time!

  • 0-2 points means you need to go back to the list and try ONE of the best practices in quick test 2 – NOW is a good time to start.  Again, update the resume.
  • 3-4 points means that your company may be OK, but more work can be beneficial.
  • 5 points.  Are you going public soon?  Can I invest?  Great things may be ahead.  Hold onto your resume for now.  By the way, are you hiring?

Quick Test 1 is a collection of worst practices I see in industry time after time.  These methods create selling words that are vague, company focused, and only have meaning to company employees.  Quick Test 2 lists some good practices that I have found to be effective for creating words that sell.

Comments? I would love to see your Best Practices and Worst Practices for establishing selling words.  Also, do you have some clunky selling phrase that you can share?

Send to a co-worker using the buttons below and see how he or she rates the company.

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