Do you make this common mistake in your sales presentations and business communications?

A very common mistake in sales presentations and business communications is to take the viewpoint of “I” or “we” (the company), instead of “you” (the customer.)

A very common mistake in sales presentations and business communications is to take the viewpoint of “I” or “we” (the company), instead of “you” (the customer.)

“We have been in business for 50 years!” (Why should I care? I need someone who can help me today! Why are you a better choice than another company?)

“We make the best pizzas in the county!” (Every other pizza parlor in the county says the same thing about themselves. Why should I believe you?)

“We offer the best engineered cars in the marketplace.” (What does that mean to me? I think your cars are ugly and I wouldn’t want to be seen driving one of them!)

Because we are in our line of business, we tend to think about the features and “quality” of our products and services. We tend to be self absorbed, including being obsessed with our “brand”. We can’t understand why our customers can’t see why our products or services are the logical choice to buy.

But our customers, clients and patients (for this discussion, “customers”) don’t think about our businesses, products and services like we do. Our businesses aren’t the center of their lives. They are concerned about their own lives — their problems, their desires, their loved ones, their pet interests/causes. This is a natural survival trait of all living things, including human beings.

This means that almost all business communications, especially sales and marketing communications, should be phrased from the concerns of the customer.

“If you have any questions or issues with the product or service, you can rely on our being here to serve you. We have a 50-year track record of excellent customer service. Here are some testimonials from several customers that had great experiences with us when they needed us.”

“Your family will love enjoying our delicious award-winning pizza. It’s made with loving care with the freshest cheese and toppings from the farmer’s market and hand-tossed crust made the traditional way. And it’s guaranteed to be hot when we deliver it to your door, or it’s FREE.”

“You can be confident that your family will enjoy comfortable, safe and reliable transportation in our fine automobiles that have been engineered with the latest technical innovations. You’ll love the way it handles turns on mountain roads when traveling on family vacations. Your children will love the surround-sound system and having wi-fi included so they can use their smart-phones and tablets when traveling. (And you can relax because you won’t have bored, whining children in the car when traveling.) You’ll also be proud to be seen driving an automobile designed with style that will impress your neighbors, while enjoying the economy of great gas mileage and durability for years of trouble-free service.”

In any sales presentation or business communication, count the number of times “I” or “we” is used and then count the number of times “you” is used. Then think about how to rephrase “I” or “we” sentences into “you” sentences.

Would you like our help putting “you” (the customer) into your businesses communications? Send an email to to schedule an initial consultation.

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These words will always get a reader’s attention

A reader’s name will always get their attention

A reader’s name will always get their attention, if only for a moment.

The reader thinks, “Is this message for me?” and looks or listens to find out if it is.

We are so attuned to our name, we can hear it whispered in a crowd.

One of the most valuable skills that a salesperson or business leader can have is to remember names, associate them with faces, and use them in conversations. Wouldn’t you rather hear your name from a salesperson than “Sir”, “Ma’am” or “Miss”? Are you offended when an acquaintance can’t remember your name? Aren’t you embarrassed when you can’t remember someone’s name when you meet them on another occasion?

One of the great things we can do with technology is to be able to pull a name from a database and insert it into a document or an email. This capability isn’t used as much as it should be.

If you receive two letters without other writing on the envelope, one addressed to “Occupant” or “Business Owner” and the other hand addressed with your name, what will you do with them? Wouldn’t the envelope without your name go in the trash, and won’t you probably open the one addressed with your name to see if there’s an important message inside?

According to copywriting guru John Carlton, who has created thousands of marketing messages, his clients have experienced a 30% increase in response in letters just by personalizing the salutation. Instead of reading “Dear Friend”, Jane Smith reads “Dear Jane Smith.”

I read a story about two advertising writers. Let’s call the younger writer John Smith and the older, more experienced writer Susan Smart.

John says to Susan, “Nobody reads long sales letters anymore. They are too impatient.”

Susan replies, “I can write a long letter that I can guarantee you will read from beginning to end.”

John says, “You’re on! I bet $100 you can’t!”

Susan says, “The headline for the letter is, ‘This letter is all about John Smith.'”

John, defeated, says, “You win!”

As you write or review a marketing communication to a prospective customer, ask the question, “How can I make what I am writing (or this message) all about the customer?”

The customer doesn’t care about your products, services or company, except how what you offer helps them solve their problems, achieve their desires, or improve the lives of themselves and their loved ones.

Would you like our help writing messages that get the attention of your customers or prospective customers? To arrange an initial consultation, write Michael Gray at

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(c) 2019 by Michael Gray