Transmitting Value: Turn Down the Noise, And Turn Up the Signal!
By Buff Parham, President of Parham & Associates, LLC
Great value propositions need to be transmitted as clearly as possible.
How many times have our best pitches gotten lost in the process of being conveyed to the customer? To understand why that happens, we need to understand the difference between "signal" and "noise." Everything that we convey is either one or the other--a zero sum game. Therefore, we can also establish "ratios" on signal to noise for every message that we send. Achieving a consistently high “signal to noise” ratio is the name of the game…
"Signal" is the pure essence of the message, "noise" is everything else.
Far too often, we assume that the recipient can figure out which is which--big mistake. In a world where everyone is constantly bombarded with messages, and coping with "information overload", it's only natural for almost anyone to tune out as much noise as possible. Getting a clean signal through that environment is a task that shouldn't be taken lightly. Customers get a lot of noise from a lot of sources on a regular basis.
A signal is relatively short, while noise is excessively long.
That makes sense, right? But guess what? By definition, most of our messages are way too lengthy, thereby allowing them to be mistaken for noise. Think about how you react to a short voice mail as opposed to a long one. The same applies to emails. This is especially true when the sender is someone that we don’t know very well. Sometimes, we almost have a knee jerk reaction to lengthy messages…that puts them in the "noise file" without even listening or reading them.
A signal prompts someone to take specific action, while noise simply does not.
Think about an NFL quarterback about to snap the ball. A fair amount of what you hear is "noise" just to distract the defense--but the teammates are listening for the actual signals that will define the upcoming play. We are all conditioned to listen and look for signals. It can be as simple as a traffic light or an oven timer or an alarm clock--all signals that we know and hopefully respect. Your value proposition should be transmitted in a "signal" fashion too.
If we don't send a clear signal, we have no reason to be disappointed with the lack of desired results.
As salespeople, we often blame our customers/clients for not taking the action or making the decision that seems "obvious" to us. Next time that happens to you, take a moment to ask your customer/client if he/she had a clear idea about what you were trying to convey. It's a fair bet that you'll find that there was some "confusion" that came into play. "Noise" causes confusion. If your customer/client says that they had a clear understanding of your message, and chose to do otherwise, then you can move on to having a dialogue about what terms and conditions still need to be addressed. So asking the question about the quality of your signal will give you useful information no matter what the response from your customer/client.
Work on enhancing your signals with your team members before you transmit them to your customers and clients.
Those dry runs will help clarify and refine with no downside risk. Once you're engaged in the actual process, there's no second chance. So do whatever it takes to get that critical signal right the first time. You've worked hard on your value proposition…give it the launch that it rightly deserves!
About the Author:
Digital Media Training is excited to announce the addition of Buff Parham, a widely recognized thought leader and outstanding coach in the media sales and sales management field. With 35 years of sales experience, Buff has worked at Univision, FOX, Belo, ABC and CBS. He started in the mailroom at CBS, but quickly moved on to selling locally at KABC/Los Angeles and nationally for ABC Spot Sales in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Buff then continued on to spend almost 12 years with Univision, first as General Sales Manager at KUVN/KSTR in Dallas, and then 5 years in New York as SVP/Sales. Buff will be contributing a new blog article to Digital Media Training once per month about various sales and sale management topics. Stay tuned!
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Check out Buff’s Blog www.BuffParham.com
About Molly DePasquale
Molly DePasquale is the Manager of Operations and Sales Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.