I’m not sure how it all began, but the fact remains that people have a tendency to believe the written word more than they believe the spoken word. This may stem back to the days when salespeople were known for their “gift of gab.” Even today some salespeople tell me they can talk their way in or out of any given situation
Being a seasoned sales professional for nearly 30 years and speaking for a living for 25 of those years, I am the first to acknowledge that in today’s marketplace talk is still cheap. So what is a salesperson to do? How can they continue to feed their families on a regular basis if what they say is questioned, and often in doubt?
Regardless of your industry, you are undoubtedly faced with more competition than you consider fair or appropriate. This probably won’t get better anytime soon so you need to get use to it and start planning your next sales strategy accordingly. It is a fact we all have to deal with.
If it is true that today’s winning strategy involves the creation of trust, then trust should clearly become our focal point. And trust is a by-product of visibility, credibility and repetition. So that’s what you need to develop.
The solution becomes both obvious and achievable. You must write something. You must document your thoughts, opinions, suggestions and recommendations on a computer screen or a piece of paper. You must write an article, book, booklet, special report, white paper, newsletter, e-zine, memo, letter or bulletin. Yes, even emails will support your position if they are written creatively.
Right about now I can see many of you glazing over in fear as you recall your high school days just after you were given assignment to write a term paper. Not to worry. It really isn’t that difficult. I’ll even give you a step-by-step plan to follow.
1) Select a topic: Preferably you should choose a topic that you are passionate about, or your audience has indicated an interest in. Understand that you are not attempting to write another novel the size and depth of “War and Peace.” You just need to say what you need to say.
2) Get it down: Write every word down that shoots into your mind. Capture your thoughts. This is the easy part if you allow yourself poetic license. As you think it, write it. You can fix things later. First get it down. Later, you will make it worth reading.
3) Let your words breath: Back off and take a break. You will be surprised how good things will look tomorrow. I am constantly amazed how “good” my articles are days, weeks or months after I initially write them. I don’t know what literary law this falls under, but it is true as the day is long.
4) Read it and tweak it: The glaring errors will jump off the page while you come up with a better way of phrasing some sentences. It is not a bad idea to have a second set of eyes review your work. This is what editors do for professional writers. In your case, ask your friend, spouse or workmate to take a look at your work. (I am not inferring that your friend cannot be your spouse and vice versa.)
5) Repeat step 3 once more – and then step 4.
6) Distribute it. This may sound elementary, but it is not. If you can’t get your thoughts, ideas, suggestions and recommendations out to the audience where it will do some good, the entire experience is just an exercise. Always be on the hunt for ways to “spread the word.” In this case, you want to spread the “written word.”
Remember that you are not pretending to be a professional writer. Your audience needs to hear what you have learned the hard way, and it is your responsibility to give them what needs hearing using the best and fastest way possible – by writing it out. Then, and only then, will you begin establishing the all-important trust factor. You will become more credible as you become more visible. Not because I say so, but because that is the way things work today. Don’t shoot me, I am only the messenger.
And one more thing: Sharing your thoughts in writing while helping people along the way is fun. So open a fresh page on your computer, or grab a clean piece of paper, and start having some fun. It’s a great way to develop trust…and an even better way to communicate.
Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game. Ask to be placed on the distribution list to receive his periodic Motivational Memo. Click Here to Join Now.
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