Why Texting for Business?
TL;DR: Before you bother reading what I wrote for you, you might as well know the payoff. This article was written to break down HOW you can increase sales, and by extension, profit in business. If that’s not interesting to you, I just saved you a few minutes of your life…use them wisely! If the idea of being more effective at helping people decided to do business with you is interesting, you should read on…
I’ll be completely honest with you… I don’t even think that’s the right question. Looking at a way of communicating and asking if it’s right for the business is a bit like putting the cart before the horse.
Why Do People Buy?
You, me, everyone makes the buying decisions we make because of how we CURRENTLY see the world.
Our understanding of how things are, our assumptions about what’s in our best interest, controls our buying habits.
Why do you eat what you eat?
Why do you drive what you drive?
Why do you live where you live?
Even if you are unhappy with your answers to these questions, the reason why they are the answers you live with is determined by how you see the world around you and your place in it.
Different Information, Different Choice
If you are going to change any of your own buying decisions it’s going to be because you add new information into your equation. With this new information, you’re more likely to make a different (and hopefully better) buying decision.
Sales and marketing are the acts of introducing new information that can effectively influence a buyer’s perspective (ideally in the direction of your product or service!) so that they begin to make different buying decisions.
But there is a big problem…
Confusing Sending and Consumption
Many marketers and salespeople make the incorrect assumption of associating sending a message with that message being consumed.
It’s not entirely without reason. You may think, “I can’t control the person I’m trying to communicate with, so the best I can do is control what’s in my power, which is sending my message.”
To understand the danger in this assumption we have to break down communication a bit more.
There are 5 essential parts of the effort of communication:
- Preparing the message
- Sending the message
- Delivering the message
- Receiving the message
- Internalizing the message
If this seems like too much, hang in there, because understanding the essential parts of communication allows you to master them and by extension, help more people to modify their world view to include doing business with your company.
Preparing the Message
To frequently this step is done unconsciously. We know our topic so well that we don’t think too much about what to say, we just say it.
To help someone modify their world view requires that we consider where they are. How do they see the world currently?
Knowing who you want to influence with your communication and considering what they find important right now is critical to preparing an effective message.
I personally like to imagine a person who I know needs what I have to offer. I think about what keeps them up at night related to what I can do for them. I try to understand why they care about the problem that I solve.
Rarely is the reason they care about the problem I solve on the same level as the problem itself. Usually, there is a deeper reason for why they want the problem resolved.
For example, the problem may be their marketing isn’t as effective as they would like. As a result, sales are down. The company isn’t growing as they want it to. That’s a problem.
But they don’t want to solve it just to make more money and have the business grow. No, there is a deeper reason. Maybe it’s because they feel like if the business doesn’t grow they won’t be able to take care of those they love the way they feel they should. Maybe they are concerned about how their brother in law will see them if they fail in business again.
Maybe they made a promise to someone that they don’t want to let down.
Understanding what’s at stake for the person you want to help with a solution to their problem can put you in the right place to prepare the message.
Sending the Message
This step of communication seems to get all the attention. And you know what? It’s understandable! If you don’t send a message you can’t hope that anything else will happen.
There are a good number of folks who can get caught up with this step because they did prepare their message and they are afraid it isn’t good enough.
But even more common is that folks just send the message. They don’t think too much about how to send it. But they really should.
The method you use for sending a message is almost as critical as the message itself!
Email is perceived as cheap and easy. You type it up, choose a group of people to send it to and click send! DONE!
But is it?
Delivering the Message
When you clicked send on that email, if you’re like most, you forget about the rest of the technical roller coaster that message will experience.
You gave your instructions and you assume that they will be fulfilled.
When it comes to email, the journey has only begun when you hit send. First, whatever service you use to send email has to begin preparing the message for delivery. If you are sending a broadcast with merge variables, the software you’re using must find the contacts, get their information, merge in the contact information, and then queue up your email for delivery.
Now we have to hope that a few things are in proper order. DKIM, SPF, and DMARC need to be properly set. The sending software IP address needs to be clean. The from address domain and specific email address need to have a good reputation. The email itself needs to not look like other emails, in terms of structure and content, that have been deemed spam. Folks need to have engaged with past emails you’ve sent.
All of these factors impact where the message you prepared and sent will be received.
Receiving the Message
I hope you understand that my intention is not to cause a sinking feeling of defeat as you realize the uphill battle that you have as you attempt to communicate with leads, prospects, and customers.
Rather, I hope to open your eyes to the pitfalls of sales and marketing communication so you can know how to be more effective at it.
I give you these expressions of encouragement because it’s about to get ugly…
We have no idea what the condition of the email inbox will be when your email is finally delivered (assuming it is).
It could be like my wife’s inbox (12,381 unread emails), or like mine (unroll.me filtering most to spam, another group routed directly to folders for potential review later, few remaining ruthlessly reviewed for value).
It could be that you sent your email right before they received a ton of unwelcome emails, putting them into a to-hell-with-it attitude clearing their inbox entirely.
The sad reality is that all that time you spent on your catchy subject line will never even be read by 30-50% of the folks you emailed.
The remainder might have read it, and then deleted it in annoyance when they realized you tricked them into opening it.
And a few, which I assume are mildly aware of what you could do for them and somewhat interested actually make it to the final and most important step.
WARNING: Before I continue you could think I’m a total pessimist about email. The truth is quite far from that. I know from personal enrichment that email can be quite a powerful tool, but I’m also not naive. Painting this hyper-realistic picture for you is critical to understanding the challenges of communication and being able to overcome them and end up being very effective and sales and marketing.
So if you found yourself siding with email and almost became defensive of it, that’s normal. Maybe you took it personally and started saying to yourself that your numbers are much better than those I mentioned above. If your numbers are better, I’m truly excited for you. You’re doing something quite exceptional in a game that is rigged against you. That says quite a bit about you and your message and your approach. Now, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, because folks like you benefit most with what I’m about to share with you!
Internalizing the Message
The unfortunate truth is that if your message made it this far, it’s purpose has still not been fulfilled. In order for your message to be effective in changing the way your lead, prospect or customer sees the world, they must internalize it.
That means they must read (in the case of an email), and comprehend what you’ve prepared. While there were many perils our message faced as it made its way to arrive in front of the attention of our prospect, if they don’t comprehend what we’re sharing, it is all for nothing.
I’m not being dramatic, I’m being painfully honest about the challenges you and I face in our desire to grow a business.
I suppose this is exactly why so many businesses resign to just growing by word of mouth. It all sounds so complicated and impossible to effectively communicate with prospects to convert them to become customers.
But don’t lose hope, I have GOOD NEWS for you!
To Increase Sales You Must Communicate Effectively
We’ve dived deep into what communication is and why it’s critical to your business. We’ve also explored email in particular. We looked closely at email because it’s the most common approach folks using marketing automation take to communicate with prospects.
BUT, it’s not the only way available to you…
New Kid on The Block
The new kid on the block is actually 40 years old, but for nearly 3 and a half decades he avoided business. Kind of a hippy in that way.
His name is text messaging. Everyone knows him, but few know how to put him to work effectively.
Most treat him like a megaphone and act like a boardwalk barker.
They also have counted him as not all they thought he could be. They couldn’t be more wrong…
The Secret of Effective Texting for Business
The real secret of texting as a communication method for business is it’s conversational.
I guess email had that potential since you can quickly respond to an email, assuming you see it. But early email marketers had jumped online from direct response marketing world that dealt primarily with direct mail. This lead to email becoming dominantly one-way communication.
But texting was built and operated as a person to person conversation communication channel.
Because texting is so personal and intimate, it has earned the attention of everyone. I’m sure you’ve heard statistics about 97% of text messages are read. I don’t know the origin of that stat, but it sounds right, doesn’t it?
I mean, I read every text message I get. Even in those group chats with my extended family where it gets really crazy.
But what’s so powerful about conversations in business?
All Sales Happen in Conversation
This is what’s so powerful about texting in business…
We’ve already established that communication is critical to expose our prospect to the information they need to change the way they see the world, but what we are looking for is an effective way of delivering that message so it can be internalized.
When used correctly, texting is the most effective method I know to make sure your message has the best shot of being received and internalized.
But texting is almost an overachiever in one regard; it was made for the rapid and convenient exchange of information.
When someone internalizes your message, they SHOULD have questions. Questions are the natural result of new information that challenges their existing world view.
Those questions MUST be answered in order for them to finalize the transformation of their world view. The world view that includes doing business with you!
So the true secret of effective communication isn’t just delivering a powerful message but also starting a conversation…a place where your prospect can feel comfortable asking questions to clarify their evolving world view.
Open the Door to Texting
I hope you’re excited about the possibility of incorporating texting into your business. I hope this because I know it’s the most effective way to start conversations that lead to sales.
But before you can start tapping into this powerful method of communication you have to get permission.
While you could try and get a list of mobile phone numbers and just start texting folks, I can tell you right now this plan has TWO MAJOR PROBLEMS to it.
First, it’s illegal. You need to express permission to text folks. That’s obtained in one of two ways. One they text you first. Or two, they check a box when they provide you with their mobile phone number that says you can text them.
If you use one of those two methods to get permission, you’re halfway there. You’ve got to overcome the second problem…
Second, you need their interest. Legal and psychological permission are two different animals. To get to psychological permission you want to engage them in a conversation asap.
Secret #1: Automated Conversations
My preferred method for gaining legal and psychological permission to text a prospect is the keyword-phone number combination. For example, I wrote a book on the power of messaging to grow businesses. I’ve been told frequently that it’s a transformational book. In fact, I received a text message from someone yesterday saying just that. It changed them. I love hearing that. But I also know that many folks are not fans of reading.
So I invite folks to text LEARN to (858) 800-4552 to receive a PDF and audio copy of my book.
When they text LEARN to my number, they trigger a YetiText Automated Chat, which will proceed to ask for their name and email address before providing them with a link to the book. In the process YetiText stores their mobile phone number, name and email to a contact record in your CRM. YetiText also applies tags or workflow triggers to that contact record that then trigger automation or a workflow designed to encourage them to read the book and tell me about their needs.
But the most important part of that entire automated conversation is in the final text message. I’ll explain why in just a second. First, you need to understand why this automated conversation is so important to everything else that happens afterward.
I want you to understand so that you can apply the EXACT SAME METHOD to your business.
This automated conversation is fast-paced and only three steps long. Both of these characteristics are CRITICAL.
The rapid nature of the conversation keeps the prospect engaged and simulates a highly interactive experience between two people. The speed also respects their time.
Three steps are the right balance between not enough and too much. There is something special about three steps that open the eyes of the prospect that we can chat by text message, but it’s not so much that they start to wonder when it’s going to be over.
Secret #2: Conversation Starter Question
The final step of the automated conversation contains a formulaic question that reveals the superpower of texting for business.
The question is this: “BTW, why did you request a copy of my book today?”
Let’s break down the formula so you can quickly use this same question to start powerful conversations with new prospects!
This humble acronym is a fantastic softener. It makes our fairly straight forward question a little softer on the ears.
Why did you…
These three humble words are so powerful because there is no wrong answer to the question they form. Why you did something is entirely up to you. And no matter what you say you get to be right. Questions that allow a prospect to freely express themselves (yet in a directed manner), create a powerful space for folks to express concerns and voice motive.
Understanding why someone did something can be very revealing and help you to know how to continue a conversation in a direction that allows you to help them arrive at a buying decision.
Request a copy of my book
This part of the formulaic question is the context. If they were requesting a cheat sheet on how to take great photos with their smartphone camera, we would have switched it up to be “BTW, why did you request the cheatsheet today?”
The context helps direct their answer to the why did you question in a direction that is productive for both you and them.
This final component is more important than it may seem. It directs their thoughts to why they took action at THIS MOMENT. What was the catalyst for them taking action now vs not taking action in the past?
While it is only a word, its power is subtle and understated. Be sure to use it!
Secret #3: Have Conversations!
While it may seem obvious after secret #2, it’s worth saying that you’ve got to be ready and willing to have conversations with prospects.
One of the unfortunate side effects of marketing automation is it can lead well-meaning business owners to begin avoiding conversation with prospects. Instead, they attempt to get automation to handle EVERY interaction with prospects so they can sit in that legendary hammock on the beach that seems to be in so many photographs.
Look, I’m ALL about autonomy and living life on your terms, but having conversations with prospects is CENTRAL to business growth. So if you personally are not going to have them, then you’ll need to make sure your team is ready and trained to have conversations with prospects.
Because all sales happen in conversation, these conversations are the secret to rapid growth. Texting facilitates your ability to have more productive conversations in a way that no other method of communication can touch.
Don’t get me wrong; talking to someone in person or over the phone is the most effective method of selling and even marketing, but it has major drawbacks in terms of price and ability to make it happen that texting just doesn’t face.
Also, texting feels safe for prospects. Because they can create time between receiving and responding, they are better able to process what you’re saying and formulate their response.
While some salespeople see this barrier as an obstacle to sales, what they might not realize is that this buffer builds trust when used to ensure you’re communicating clearly.
And as a result, many conversations that begin as texting conversations move to the phone as trust is established. The resulting phone call is much more effective than the phone call originated by a call to a warm prospect.
What Did You Learn?
In this article, we broke down how communication works and how it can change the way a prospect sees the world so that they can include your business in it!
We explored email and all the challenges it faces as a primary communication method for marketing and sales.
Finally, you learned about texting and how it can rapidly move prospects to become customers due to it’s enhanced ability to allow you to communicate your message with prospects.
If you’d like personal help getting texting properly incorporated into your business, start a $1 trial of YetiText. When you do, you’ll receive $20 in texting credit to begin exploring the methods I shared with you above. But more importantly, a member of my team will reach out to you and schedule a time to look at YOUR business and help you set up the strategies you’ll need to increase sales and speed up the path from prospect to a customer for your business.
NOTE: If you have questions you’d like answered before you start your $1 trial of YetiText, you can ask them in two ways. You can text us at (858) 800-4552 or click the chat button in the bottom right corner of this page and either way, we’ll be thrilled to assist you!