How to deliver messages that engage potential clients
By Bob Ferguson
As we move out of the restrictions of Covid, every business that survived will be shouting out to potential clients “by my service or product”. It’s been a tough ride over the last year but now it will be essential to capture new business and clients as the economy recovers.
The challenge is how you can make sure that your message is heard and understood by potential clients when that will be so many other messages competing for their attention?
The key is to deliver compelling messages that engage and persuade your potential clients.
There are several mechanisms that can help you achieve this but one of them will help you craft and deliver compelling messages more effectively than most. That is to understand the structure of an engaging message.
I’ve put a diagram of one of the best structures you can use in the adjacent graphic. It’s called the journalists’ triangle and it shows that you’re not alone with this problem. Every journalist needs to help sell newspapers and so they, just like you have to grab the audience’s attention, engage them to generate an interest, and then persuade them to buy the newspaper. And that’s an identical process to yours so this is a structure that you can also use.
You’ll notice that the structure is used on virtually every newspaper or magazine article, and there are three easy steps that show how it works.
- You must grab the audience’s attention. In an article, or written advertisement this would be the headline. If you’re speaking it would be an impact statement. Either way it should be short, punchy, eye-catching and perhaps even thought-provoking. What’s more it should immediately address the key question that every reader or listener will be asking: “What’s in it for me?”.
- Secondly, having grabbed their attention you must quickly provide them with sufficient information to stimulate their interest. This should be a concise executive summary that clearly shows the audience how you can deliver the benefits you suggested and that you have a coherent plan to achieve it. As well as feeding them the important information you should also challenge them to think about what they feel or do at the moment and how your plan can help them improve their situation. Don’t drop into too much detail but make sure that all the key information is presented.
- Lastly, you need to provide the detail information that will help people decide they want your products or services. But you can’t just provide a series of facts. That will be dry and uninteresting to the audience. Having engaged the audience, you now have to deliver the information in a persuasive manner. In the persuasive terms of Dr Robert Cialdini, this is likely to be confirmation of your authority as the expert at providing your services and social proof that the plan has worked for others. Social proof is a great persuasive mechanism because it often involves an element of storytelling. This allows you to combine the factual evidence with emotional evidence which combine to make a compelling proposition.
Why go to all this trouble?
Every business will be trying to stand out now. If you want yours to survive and thrive you must learn how to engage and persuade audiences so that they should build a relationship with you for your mutual benefit. This article gives you outline information on delivering engaging and persuasive messages to help attract new clients. If you’d like to know more, you’re welcome to join our webinar on the subject. No sales pitch or special offers! Just one hour of clear advice to help you build a stronger business.