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Sales Mastery: Don’t Write, Telegraph

Elmer Wheeler, brilliant wordsmith, salesman, author and global speaker, was all about impacting sales performance through small changes.

He created five selling principles that are extremely powerful in creating change in sales performance. In this article, you’ll learn about his second selling principle, “Don’t write, telegraph.” Read on for actionable advice on capturing your prospects with just a few words in a few seconds.

Elmer Wheeler (1903 to 1968), Author, Speaker, Sales Expert and often described as the greatest sales person in the world created the five Wheelerpoints:
1. Don’t sell the steak – sell the sizzle!
2. Don’t write – telegraph.
3. Say it with flowers.
4. Don’t ask if – as which! (questions)
5. Watch your bark.

Wheelerpoints number 2: Don’t Write, Telegraph!

“If your first ten words aren’t the right words, you won’t have a chance to use the next ten thousand because your customer will walk away from you physically, if he doesn’t float away from you mentally.”                                                            – Elmer Wheeler

Nobody cares what you do, they only care what you can do for them! So make this clear from the start. It’s important to…

  • Use a headline
  • Be clear
  • Don’t ever waste your prospect’s time (Think about those cold-calls that open with “Good morning, how are you today…” If you’re anything like me, you’re already look for an excuse to put the phone down…)

And remember – because most people don’t respond (for example 80% of people won’t open your email, 95% of people won’t click your ad) the headline is the only thing most people see or hear.

What are your prospects expecting to hear? From the customers’ perspective, what signals are they looking for that might make them listen to your podcast, sign up for your newsletter, buy your product, or listen to your sales pitch?

Remamber the ‘Golden Rule of Writing’:
“Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you’ve told them…”

Right now, we’re focusing on the “tell them what you are going to tell them” piece. This part should give your prospects insight into the whole story, or the gist of your sales pitch, so they know exactly what they’re going to get and can make the decision you want them to make.

Have you ever seen the ads on YouTube videos that are skippable after just six seconds? If so, I’m sure you’ve come across one that has genuinely grabbed your attention in a way that made you want to keep watching the ad instead of skipping it… That’s the goal of your headline and your instant impact! Tell them what you’re going to tell them, so that they will click through to hear or read the rest of your sales pitch and take further action.

Where do you need to make an instant impact (your first 10 words) and how can you do it better? Remember Elmer’s words…

Now that you’re clear on what your prospects are expecting to hear from you and where you need to make a better instant impact, you have the power to create messaging that will captivate your customers and lead them to engage with your call to action.

Keep in mind they only care what you can do for them and the headline is often the only thing they see or hear! Put those two insights together and you have a recipe for a successful and captivating ‘telegraph’.

Has this article got you thinking about your business and how you want to grab the reins and drive it forward but you struggle to find the time or feel that you lack the skills or knowledge to do so?

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