When you want to get someone’s attention, the first thing you want to do is talk about what’s important to them. Seems self-explanatory, but, in business that little tip is hardly ever used.
Not sure why, but in over 20 years of writing professionally for businesses, there are barely any I’ve come across who don’t get bogged down in ‘businesseze’.
The fact is, especially in a B2B application, most corporate literature is just downright boring.
The second fact is that everyone who reads that corporate literature is a human being. And as a human being, they like to be understood. This may not seem terribly appropriate in a business context, but, if you bear that in mind, you’ll find that you have a much higher level of success.
Here’s an example:
Company A sells industrial preventative maintenance software.
Company B uses heavy machinery.
Company A’s traditional approach to writing about their product might be:
“Our software is for the acquisition, display, analysis and reporting of vital equipment health data. it’s been designed to satisfy ALL your condition monitoring, equipment inspection and maintenance program problem. You get everything you need to prevent loss of profit from unscheduled downtime and expensive repairs caused by undetected machine wear and subsequent damage.”
Blah, blah, blah.
Company A could make a lot more impact by:
- understanding the core issues and fears of Company B’s purchasers and technicians
- stating powerfully upfront the BIGGEST benefit of their software in terms of the impact on Company A’s productivity and profit
Here’s how they could rephrase their approach:
“Cut your unscheduled downtime by up to 50%. Increase machine productivity by at least 25%. Double your profitability.”
“Those are big claims we know but we can back them with success stories from leading companies in your industry. On average, unscheduled downtime costs big time – in some cases HALVING profits which are THROWN away unnecessarily. When a machine goes down it usually does so because a small malfunction has gone undetected, eventually causing significant collateral damage. Acme software lets you read your machinery health like an open book.
- spot problems BEFORE they cause damage
- schedule downtime when it’s convenient for you
- maintain machinery health at peak
- increase your productivity and profits easily.”
See what I mean? It’s longer, sure, but, it’s a lot more gripping because it deals directly with the 2 core issues:
- the fear of taking a risk i.e. spending money on something unknown – eliminated by citing success stories from leading players in the industry. If competitors have had success it must be a good solution.
- the biggest benefits: placing the company in control of their machine downtime, major savings and increased profitability are dealt with immediately, not left to be assumed or deduced.
Take a look at your core offering and see how you can look at the benefits from your customer’s point of view, then write down the biggest benefits. You’re on your way to more powerful copy!