Have Something to Say, and Say it Well

Original Post July 21, 2009

Image source: Seraph Science

Use Persuasive Communications to enhance your selling and marketing communications. 

Persuasive Communications helps you deliver your message and deliver it in a logical and persuasive way. It is a buyer-centric approach to communicating.

From my earlier work at PA Consulting and continuing today, I use what I believe is a very useful framework  for communicating and persuasive arguments. At Revenue Architects, we often ask each other, “What is your S-C-Q-A? ”.

 

What is Persuasive Communication?

You can use persuasive communications to capture the buyer’s situation or problem by asking questions about your their situation, then you can deliver your message by reflecting back on their situation and complication before offering a ‘single-minded message’ (your answer) along with evidence that supports your answer.

Persuasive communication is a structured way to position and communicate that ties your Answer – or the Governing Thought –  to the Situation and the Complication that your buyer must overcome.

Let’s walk through an example by introducing this Persuasive Communications approach. In this example, I will try to convince you that you should embrace persuasive communications in your organization.

To do this, I will use “SCQA” or Situation, Complication, Question and Answer which is the structure that  guides the delivery of your messages.  SCQA can be used in subtle and conversational ways, but to illustrate the logic and how it works, I will use it explicitly in the following argument:

Situation:

Communicating a clear and persuasive message to your buyers is critical in a marketing, sales or service delivery. We need to deliver our ideas in a clear and convincing way that reflects the key issues and challenges the audience is facing.

If we can be more effective in communicating our message and persuasive arguments, we will be much more likely to convince our audience that they should take the actions we propose.

Complication

Unfortunately, to often our communication lacks clarity and structure. Marketing messages are inside out rather than reflecting the audience and their pain points.  Corporate presentations miss the mark in delivering a single-minded message and instead offer only a reflection of the company itself – without an adequate focus on the audience and the opportunities they seek to address. Sales teams often meander through client conversations without delivering a clear and persuasive argument backed by logic.

With the proliferation of online media and brand messages, it is important to differentiate messages and communicate in a clear and compelling way. In order to deliver persuasive communications, writers and presenters need a structured communication process they can use day-to-day.

Question

How can we improve the way we communicate to our audience and realize better results?

Answer

Build structured communications into the fabric of the organization by helping communicators deliver compelling arguments that drive results.

How? We can do this by following three steps:

  1. Formally introduce Structured Thinking and Delivery  and the top-down S-C-Q-A structure using  workshops, hands-on practice, and real-world examples.
  2. Reinforce the approach by applying structured communication techniques across interactions day-to-day – including internal presentations, emails, blog posts and marketing communications.
  3. Ensure adoption across the organization, leading by example and recognizing the impacts that come from applying the approach.

Persuasive Communications is a critical element of an effective organization and a foundation for realizing results from audience and buyer engagement.

How have you used these techniques in your organization? Please share your ideas and comment at the Revenue Architects blog.  Good luck and good communicating!

 

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