Are you ready to promote your business or new initiative but find your message isn’t quite resonating with your target buyer? Do your executives know your solutions well but explain the offerings in various ways? When your leaders talk about your organization, does it sound like they’re describing a different company?
Often the way professionals talk about their business or special project is full of industry buzz words, acronyms and other vague expressions. The result is conversation that sounds much like the children’s game of telephone where the story that’s being heard is quite different from the initial message told. When we may only have one chance to make the right impression, clear and concise messages are critical.
Whether you’re in a new position within your organization, your business is launching a new product or you want to jumpstart the New Year, a key messaging session is incredibly imperative. So what exactly does it entail?
We lead key messaging sessions as focused time to gather four to eight of your spokespeople and walk them through a half-day facilitated seminar. As a group, we identify your target market and the various interests within those buyer groups. Next, we brainstorm on the words and phrases that you want prospects to associate with your organization. Similarly, we talk about the words or phrases to avoid. The two lists are equally important.
With these two groups of words pinpointed, our next activity involves carefully crafting memorable sentences that strategically communicate what you’re all about. This exercise takes time and includes selecting the best words and phrases from your “words to use” list. As the facilitator, we help participants mold these key messages with the target buyers in mind. What is that audience’s pain point? What solution do you provide to solve that pain point? While your key messages must communicate what you do and how you do it, they also must address your audience’s questions.
Next, we run through several exercises to ensure the three to five key messages being developed are easy to remember and use. Let’s face it. Your messages are only as good as the frequency at which you use them. So we share tools and role play the key messages to help participants get comfortable with using them. This ensures that the messaging session is more than an academic exercise by requiring your spokespeople use the messages to answer real questions they commonly receive. This is where the rubber meets the road.
In the end, professionals have an agreed-upon set of messages that are appropriate for different target audiences including prospects, customers, employees, reporters and the list goes on. Regular and consistent communication is important and the key messages can and should be easily used on your website, sales presentations, other marketing materials and even in social media. These target audiences want consistency. It helps them know you and remember you. Describing your company and services in the same way across channels and team members helps drive home the message and that’s what communication is all about.
For more details on our key messaging sessions, contact us today.