You will lose your audience and squander the talent on your team.

Keeping your team’s messaging clear, concise, and consistent is essential for reaching your team’s goals.  This is as true for sales teams as it is for any other functioning team in your organization; after all, we’re all selling something at the end of the day.  The last thing you need is a loose cannon at the podium omitting key points of a presentation or going off on a long-winded tangent.

On the flip side, though, scripting and memorizing is actually counterproductive and detrimental to your goals as well.  If everyone on your team is using the same phrases and sentences to explain the objective, it begins to sound rehearsed and robotic.  Any of the passion, creativity, and authority that your team’s individuals bring to their work is sure to be flattened in favor of the predetermined text.

So how do you get your team to consistently deliver the same message, but in a way that is engaging and authentic to a specific audience? 

#1: The Universal Key Message.

The Universal Key Message is the fundamental idea your team is trying to convey.  Far shorter than even your elevator pitch, the key message is the main point you need your audience to remember.

In most cases, it should be no longer than one sentence and will likely always follows this formula: By doing this, you will get that.  Examples: by flossing, you will have healthy gums; by implementing this strategy, your company will save $20M annually; by using our services, you will have more time to dedicate to more profitable tasks. 

Once you are confident this foundation is clear to everyone, it creates a great amount of leeway for each team member to communicate.  Now you’re all on the same page, and the team knows the most important point to convey.

#2: Encourage Authenticity.

Everyone on your team has their own speaking style, which is unique to their background, regionality, and life experience.  Some people favor images, others storytelling, and then others relish content – they’re able to do a deep dive into data if prompted. 

Each style can be just as effective as another, but together they may actually present the most comprehensive expression of your Universal Key Message — each voice on your team adding a new dimension to the idea of the message.

Having different dimensions of speaking style is especially effective if your audience is two or more people.  Everyone in the audience is going to absorb information in their unique way, so having several styles of communication addressing the same message increases the chance of each individual comprehending the information.    

#3. Have a Roadmap (but leave the navigating to the individual).

There will often be a few talking points that should be included when messaging, no matter the style or approach.  By creating a “roadmap,” you can include these talking points without dictating the manner in which they are presented. 

Say we are in Washington, D.C., and everyone needs to end up in New York City (key message).  There are several routes to achieve this goal and everyone can choose their way, provided we end up in NYC.  Now suppose along the way it’s required that we drive through Baltimore and Philadelphia (essential talking points).  Even with these specifics, there are still myriad options for the journey while including a few important stops.

By utilizing the authentic voices and styles of each member of your team, you give agency and power to your team members. You exponentially increase the power and impact of your message. You keep your audience engaged.  And most importantly, you ensure you land your point and achieve the results you and your team strive for. 

By: Vanessa Wasche