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.

  • Chas

    Outstanding! I completely concur.

    When it comes to sales, marketing, advertising, public
    relations, customer service & client retention…

    Exceptional writing skills aren’t just a great tool, it is
    an art that should be used more often in the world of business in order to connect with existing customers, potential customers and drive both value and customer loyalty.

  • danapointjohn


    I know for a fact that my ability to concisely communicate a sales or marketing point is enhanced having been a writer all my career.

    Thanks for a great article.

  • ss

    Completely agree – to sell effectively, all modes of communication must be at one’s disposal. Writing is key to developing a well crafted proposal but its also a skill that is used day in and day out via e-mails, posts and other written interaction.

  • christopher carfi

    Another strong vote of affirmation. Right on.

  • Marc Zazeela

    Write your whole piece and then remove half of the words.

  • Go for the heart, it leads the head in every instance. Your reader’ll pick up the pieces afterwards – sorry, that should have read “they’ll rationalize it afterwards”.

    Emotion is the essence of communication, the more you are happy to share the emotions of those you speak with, the faster you’ll bond. That means trust, of course. For myself it’s usually around the five minute mark.

    Either that or it’s pretty unlikely to happen – the defining element being if they want to carry on the relationship. It does happen from time to time.