writingWithout a doubt, it’s writing.

Not communication skills in general, that’s too vague. And frankly, it would be difficult to find a great communicator who also isn’t a great writer (or that has a great writer behind them).

But for most sales & marketing professionals who don’t have the luxury of a ghost or speech writer, your writing skills are critically important.

Mark Twain once said that if he was given more time to write something, he’d have made it shorter. That’s because great writing helps get precisely to the matter at hand, turns complicated topics into something you can understand, and gets right to the what the audience cares about most.

Great writing is visceral, it tugs at your intellect and heart often at the same time. Great salespeople writer shorter follow-up emails that drive response, vs. throwing everything they know at the prospect and hoping they can sort it out.

Verbatim sales scripts rarely work, but well-prepared sales professionals still enumerate (first in writing, then in person or via phone) crisp questions and value propositions that get the prospect’s attention quickly, drive urgency and velocity in the deal.

If you’re looking to invest in the growth & skills of your sales or marketing team, make them better writers first.