If you own or work for a small and mid-market company, you know the struggles of being a small voice in a loud space. Just think about your inbox for a second. How many marketing emails did you receive this morning? How many special reports or white papers have you seen advertised in the last week? Today’s space is crowded. Which is why the ability to quickly connect with your customers and communicate the ways in which you can solve their problems has never been more vital.

Here are five ways your business can break through the noise, connect with customers, shorten the sales cycle time and deliver results.

1.Hyper Learn” Your Who

Slightly different than hyper targeting, you should “hyper learn” your customers and know exactly who they are.

To make your communication relevant, you have to know exactly who you’re trying to reach; what makes them tick and react.

There’s a reason Facebook has been so successful: They’ve always known exactly who their audience is. And now, they continue to grow, using that knowledge in a way that allows marketers to know their who, targeting groups of people like never before. Uneasy as it may make us feel at times, the lesson to be learned is simple: The secret to marketing success is all in the ability to simplify and segment your demographic ways that allow you to deliver a very clear and tailored message.

Knowing your “who” allows you to create a clear message that will resonate with your customers. Knowing who you’re trying to reach will allow you as a company to tell a story that fosters a relationship and connects.

For some tips on conducting consumer research and learning more about your “who,” be sure to bookmark this page.

2. Simplify Your Message

It’s estimated that we are hit with up to 5,000 messages per day. This statistic can be intimidating for any business, regardless of its size.Screen_shot_2014-09-10_at_1.40.43_PM

The key is to grab attention using a clear, concise message that appeals to the emotions and practical needs of your target audience – one that doesn’t try to overload the consumer with too many messages.

If you know your “who,” you don’t have to worry about trying to cram too many pitches in to one swing. You just have to deliver clear, simplified messages that articulates who you are and what you do. It’s best to start with a high-level message and reduce it from a paragraph to a single sentence that identifies the consumer’s problem, and what you’re going to do about it.

Simplify your message and communicate that, with your help, goals are easy to achieve. It’s that’s simple.

3. Prove It

You’ve finally grabbed someone’s attention, now you have to prove yourself and dive into how your company or product delivers results and improves your customers’ bottom line. Don’t be afraid to “get numbey,” providing bulleted details about success stories. Think of the questions your prospects will naturally ask, and answer them before they can even think it to themselves.

For example, if you can predict (or know, through tracking and data) that prospects will often ask How soon will I be able to determine success?, you might mention “Increase your traffic by 50% in just 3 months” in a marketing message.

Testimonials are another great way to breakdown the barrier and prove your worth to a customer. According to marketing speaker and blogger David Frey, “Testimonials are powerful. They create believability, credibility, and a sense of security for your customer … Testimonials have the magic power of persuasion.”

If you have any powerful testimonials in your toolbox, don’t be afraid to use them.

4. Don’t Underestimate the RIGHT Call to Action

Sure, including calls to action (CTAs) may seem like an elementary piece of your messaging, but the right CTA at the right time can simplify your message even further.

Once you’ve piqued a person’s interest using a clear message that indicates their goal is attainable, it’s important to let the prospect know what next step he or she should take. Does the individual need to visit a website, click a link, make a call or send an email? After that, does someone reach out to them with an email? A phone call? Clarify the next steps and action items so that your customers are motivated to follow through, knowing that the rest of the process will be smooth and easy.

5. Challenge “The Way We’ve Always Done It”

Every business organization fights this mentality at some point in its growth, but breaking through this always proves to be worth it.

Chances are, your customers and prospects are in a sales cycle rut, and all they need to break it is a little creative thinking that sparks new ideas and energizes new approaches. Educate your customers about today’s landscape and ensure them that your course of action will lead them in the best direction to meet their goals.

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