Your Customers Will Hear More When You Say Less

By Alli Hill

Over the past several years I've developed quite a penchant for crafting supplies. Now I say supplies, rather than the actual art of crafting, because I don't have enough finished masterpieces to justify the copious amounts of paper, glue, paint, fabric, letters, scraps, frames and albums that litter my art room.

I've discovered the reason I find it hard to create something is because I have too many options in front of me.

We see similar situations in the business world. Studies show that buyers who face too many options have a more difficult decision making process, and are more likely to forgo making a choice altogether.


By the same token, the more information you put into your marketing pieces, whether it's cramming text into every inch of available space of a flyer or listing all the technical specs of an a/c unit in your on-hold message, the less your audience will remember.

Now we've all heard this before, but it bears repeating: Less is More.

When you choose to say less in your marketing, it forces you to select only that which will give the biggest impact. That is, you eliminate the "fluff" and focus only on what's important.

You can implement this strategy with your on-hold messaging. When crafting your caller's on-hold experience, keep these tips in mind:

  • Each message should focus on only one idea. If you want to emphasize a water heater's efficiency, it's probably best not to mention the 10-year warranty or the easy installation in the same message (even though those are both great features!). If you convolute the message with too many selling points, the listener is less likely to retain any of the information you've given them.
  • Keep your messages short and to the point.Throwing in too many technical details makes a simple message lengthy, and can distract from the point you want to make. Stick with the Keep-It-Short-and-Simple method, and save the specifics for the sales conversation.
  • Repeat a message to attract more attention to it. Like the 3 L's of real estate (location, location, location), the most important things are often repeated. If you want to attract attention to a particular message, consider playing it multiple times. You could even use different messages for the same product or vendor, each emphasizing a different selling point. In doing this, your callers may hear four or five messages on hold, but only for two or three different products, which may help those messages stand out in their minds.