…and how it influences sales performance, and your market’s perception of you and your brand.
Written communications is something every business does to communicate with their customers, suppliers, colleagues and associates. Modern technology has shifted our focus from verbal conversations to non-verbal communications that require an ability to write clearly and effectively.
While technology has accelerated the use of written communications at an unprecedented rate, it has also evolved a language of its own that has dumbed down the literary skills of many users. While this truncated dialogue may be fine between friends having a quick SMS chat, it is way below standard for business communications.
Businesses need employees with good writing skills, and it doesn’t just mean having a good grasp of grammar, it means being able to articulate ideas, inform, educate, and all in a style that is succinct, gets people excited and makes them want to act. Businesses that employ managers and sales staff with good business writing skills are much more likely to be successful marketers than their competitors.
How business writing influences the market’s perception of your brand
Unprofessional writing sends a message that the business is unprofessional, even when it’s not. It says that quality doesn’t matter, and even creates the perception that the prospect or customer isn’t important enough to spend the time writing content that is meaningful, interesting and well articulated.
Written communication can also differentiate brands. If a prospective customer receives marketing communications from a business that are well written, versus poorly written content that is difficult to understand from a competitor, there is an immediate differentiator before the prospect even begins to evaluate competing offers or proposals.
There are many businesses that deliver outstanding products or services, but often fail to build a strong brand simply because they are unable to articulate the values of the brand and what they do through their marketing communications.
How business writing influences sales performance
Sales people that have well developed communication skills are able to articulate ideas and motivate people to buy very effectively. Marketing communications are no different. Sales letters, web sites, emails, presentations, newsletters and brochures all work 24/7 to communicate your sales message, creating new sales opportunities, build relationships with existing customers, educate your market and building a recognisable and differentiated brand that is valued and recognized in your market.
But none of that happens if your marketing communications are clumsy and ineffective at communicating your message. Brilliant graphic design or the latest communication technology will not save copy that is dull, poorly written and fails to captivate the imagination and interest of your target market.
Get the strategy and copy content right in your marketing, and the enquiries and sales opportunities generated will outstrip the prospecting skills of your best Sales Consultant.
Why your ability to write can influence your career, and people’s perception of you
Every manager and sales consultant must be able to create effective written communications. By definition, these roles are about influencing people, articulating ideas, motivating and changing behaviour, which in modern business is increasingly done through written communications. Whether it’s writing a memo or a letter, an email or marketing communications, operational documents or an entire business plan, competent writing skills are critical for getting your message across.
Good business writers are as charismatic in writing as they are in life. They are respected, admired and taken seriously. They are also successful and achieve results.
For managers and sales consultants with poorly developed writing skills, the perception can range from the reader simply being bored, uninspired and not fully understanding what they are reading; through to thinking the author is unprofessional, un-educated and incompetent.
Limited writing skills can result in lack of performance which translates into lack of career opportunities. Who is going to promote or employ an under-performer?
One of the conditions of employment in almost every sales and management position is excellent written communication skills. If yours aren’t up to scratch, here’s your opportunity to boost your career prospects.