Most fintech vendors use weak promises and messages with their prospective buyers, whether those messages are used in a sales setting, on a website, in thought-leadership content, and more. Weak promises and messages do not compel the buyer-listener to become engaged with urgency. That extends sales cycles because the target listener must be engaged multiple times via a story-teller (salesperson) with whom they have a trusted relationship.
This post is the first of two that covers best-practices in the design of messages that are compelling, succinct, and differentiated in the mind of the buyer. For the sake of simplicity, “listener” is used to also mean “reader” if the messaging is consumed by the buyer in written form.
We define “promise” as the one thing the buyer can expect to get from the vendor and “messages” are used to convey the promise.
Most-Common Messaging Practices
As can be seen via a quick scan across fintech vendor websites, their messaging often follows these less-effective practices. Most messaging can be characterized by several of these and there are dependencies among them:
Vendor’s Perspective: a widespread vendor practice is to message based on what the vendor wants to say (about its solution) instead of what the buyer wants to hear (about resolving its pain). This perspective introduces jargon that only appeals to the vendor.
Not Compelling / Differentiated: some vendors’ words just don’t move the listener, either because they address a buyer need that is not urgent, or they sound like many other vendors. For example, most vendors, no matter their product, promise some combination of “more revenue”, “less cost”, “better service”, or “lower risk”.
Assumed Benefits: vendors sometimes waste words with the listener on benefits that are already assumed (they are table-stakes), using words like “secure” or “quality”, for instance. Assumed benefits should not be raised, unless an engaged listener asks about them.
Hidden Benefits: when a vendor’s words are about solutions, they force the listener to imagine the benefit and how that meets their need(s). The old adage: no one wants to by a half-inch drill bit, they want to buy a half-inch hole. Fintech analogues: think “SaaS”, “AI”, and other tools in search of problems.
Too Much Information: most messaging involves a long story so that the vendor can convey all that its product can do. The listener is inundated before they can determine their own interest in hearing more.
Inconsistent: most messages are not consistent across (1) formats (e.g., website vs. webinar), (2) engagements (the buyer hears inconsistencies across conversations), and (3) buyers (e.g., buyer 1 is told something different than buyer 2).
In this post, we’ve described the reasons that fintech promises and messages are weak. In our next post we’ll cover methods to make them compelling and urgent for the listener/reader.