It’s a tall order. How do you get your overworked, always-connected, crazy-busy prospects to actually remember your value prop? Especially when it’s a complex B2B message. They’ve already got too much on their minds. How can you make your message stick? There is a secret. Scientists, politicians, authors, and academics have been using it for years. Yet, it’s so simple that it often gets overlooked in sales messaging.
What’s the secret to making your complex concept stick?
Just name it.
Literally. Take your biggest value proposition or best differentiator and actually give it a name. It’s an incredibly simple strategy. But when used effectively, it can make a big difference to your core messaging. To see how this works, look no further than your bookshelf…
The power of naming at work.
Jim Collins, author of Good To Great and other business classics, does a excellent job of this. Terms such as “The Flywheel”, “The Hedgehog Concept”, “BHAG”, and “Level 5 Leaders” have all worked their way into everyday business vocabulary. Why? These concept-names gave his readers an easy way to remember and talk about the discoveries Collins and his team made in their research. The clever use of sticky names helped spread these concepts far and wide.
And he’s not the only one…
- Geoffrey Moore popularized his theory about how to get mass market adoption for cutting-edge innovations by naming the process “Crossing The Chasm”.
- Two business professors in France came up with a new way to carve out a niche, gave their concept a name, and got everyone talking about “Blue Oceans” as a result.
- Financial author, Dave Ramsey, has helped thousands of people beat debt with “The Debt Snowball” – his strategy of gaining momentum by paying off smaller debts first.
- Marketers all know the importance of building “Tribes”, whether or not they’ve read Seth Godin’s book by the name.
- Ever wonder where the term “Win-Win” came from? Stephen Covey introduced this as one of his “7 Habits” to describe a life philosophy of cooperation vs. competition.
What does this look like in sales messaging?
We recently worked with a company in the training space that had developed a very unique approach to corporate training. It was all about giving participants the feeling of being in a real-life situation so they could learn how to react under pressure – but without actually leaving the classroom. We thought, “Hey, that sounds kind of like a flight simulator.” So that’s what we called it. Now they have a simple and memorable “hook” to explain how they’re different from other training providers in their space.
Give it a try.
Sometimes a great name just hits you. Other times it takes some serious brainstorming. How do you pick the right name? Two quick tips. First, you want something really concrete. Animals, plants, anything you might find in a kindergarten classroom. The more basic the better. Second, you want a name that actually illustrates the concept. An analogy that just fits. Once you’ve picked a name, start using it everywhere: in conversations, marketing materials, presentations … and watch it take on a life of its own.