Be Succinct or Be Overlooked: Getting the Executive’s Attention

Today, everyone is oversaturated with too much information, too many choices, too many text messages, phone calls, Facebook posts, instant messages, and the endless streams of spam in our email.  It’s no wonder we have been dubbed “the over communicated society.”

The average C-level executive in the technology industry comes in each day and has to do battle with the digital onslaught of information vying for his or her attention. Additionally, many still wade through stacks of printed materials––trade journals, research reports, white papers, etc. in an effort to stay on top of trends in their industry.  A great deal of this information has to be absorbed, processed, reacted to. Then, they have to make serious decisions using this information––decisions that could ultimately affect their own livelihood, the standing of their company and the lives of its employees. So what does this mean? It means breaking through the clutter with your company’s messages is incredibly tough.

If you are a provider of technology solutions or services vying for the attention of a busy C-level executive, you had better be succinct, crisp and clear in your initial marketing approach if you want to get even a sliver of their time and attention.

You have to make it easy for prospects to get a snapshot of what you do and why they should do business with you in a matter of minutes, even seconds. If your marketing efforts make prospects have to work too hard to figure out what your company does and why it would benefit their organization, they will lose interest and move on to your competitor.

Your job is to capture the decision-maker’s attention long enough to inspire or compel them to take action and enter into the sales cycle.  To do this, you must develop a concise, crisp positioning and messaging strategy that starts by answering these three questions:

  • Who are we and what business are we in?
  • What makes us different?
  • Why should a prospect care?

On the surface, this seems to be a simple, straightforward process.  But it is extremely challenging even for the most qualified management teams at the most savvy organizations. More often than not, outside expertise must be brought in like Inline to help guide companies through this process. Providers of complex technology solutions especially struggle with this task because they can become too close to, and too enamored with their own technology.

Instead of explaining the benefits of their offering and what problem it solves, they default to explaining the inner workings of their technology and its “robust functionality.” Yes, the technology will need to be explained to the right people at the right time in the sales cycle.  But leading with acronyms, industry buzzwords, and diving deep under the hood to talk about features and functions the early awareness-building stages is not going to turn heads.

With the volume of information continuing to expand, you must recognize that attention spans are inversely proportional to titles––the higher up the food chain you target your messages, the less time executives have to spend thinking about what you are trying to tell them. Therefore, you must be able to communicate what you do on the home page of your website, the first sentence or two of your press release and most definitely, standing in front of someone at a tradeshow. Otherwise, you may never get another opportunity. This is precisely why investing the time and attention up front to develop your company’s messaging and positioning strategy is so vitally important to the success of all your future sales and marketing efforts––and ultimately, to the growth of your organization.