Avoiding Sales and Marketing Speak

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We’ve analyzed a significant amount of Buyer Persona interviews for our customers. One consistently common feedback area, regardless of industry, is that buyers don’t like “marketing speak” or “sales speak.” This can seem ambiguous and difficult to address if you don’t understand exactly what this means to your specific buyers. 

Defining what your buyers perceive as marketing or sales speak—and the differenceis critical to creating content that resonates with them. 

Let’s take a look at the components.

Understanding Buyers’ Perceptions.

  • Marketing speak is typically defined as fluff, or describing things in a way that isn’t direct or specific.
  • Sales speak is often considered boasting or excluding important details in order to outshine the competition.
  • If you hear feedback about either of these in your buyer interviews, dig deeper. Find out exactly what they don’t like and why. It could be that your materials are straightforward and direct, but not targeting the specific items that buyer is looking for.
Learning Motivations and Fears.
  • Understanding the fears and motivations your buyers have will help you avoid using phrasing or analogies that create a negative perception of your content. It will also help you address their fears and motivations directly, thereby creating content that resonates.
  • Listen closely for past negative experiences that create suspicion or lack of trust. This is particularly important for sales, as buyers often express concerns about the integrity or reliability of sales. Probe to understand what causes negative perspectives and ask if they can compare these with positive examples of actions or approaches by sales that built trust and rapport.  
Incorporating Preferences.
  • Sometimes it’s the format of the content, not the content itself, that is misaligned with buyer expectations. If a buyer prefers a concise list, and you provide a whitepaper or longer format, the buyer may perceive the content is too padded with marketing speak.
  • Be sure to understand what each of your buyers prefers, so you can deliver targeted content to their specific needs.

Gaining meaningful insights on these areas helps marketers and salespeople to create differentiated and memorable content and communications that resonate with buyers.