Earlier this week I was on a live chat to a well-known auto-responder service, sorting out a client’s newsletter. They are a very helpful bunch and generally speak straight forward English.
However, half way through my request for assistance, came his immortal words: “can we check that we’re on the same page moving forward?”.
I had a similar experience with another client recently: I’ve been working with them on their marketing strategy and plan, and one of the things we’ve been looking at has been their elevator pitch, or 60 second, – the short bit of blurb you use to explain what you do at networking events.
Their’s, I thought, was a bit too complicated (they work in quite a technical area) and didn’t actually get across what they did for the benefit of their prospective audience. Worse still, people’s eyes would glaze over relatively fast which is NOT what you want when describing your business.
And so we changed it.
Roll out my secret weapon…Charlie, aged 7.
Charlie has an excellent grasp of the English language, she is very quick at grasping ideas, is very persuasive and leaves any top negotiator for dead. In fact, I think I might have her run some workshops next year on sales and negotiation skills!! (Sign up here if you’re interested…. ;o) )
She is also perfect as a sounding board when you need to explain something in plain English. If she understands it, then chances are everyone else will as well. In all honesty, wouldn’t we all prefer to have products and services explained to us in a language we understand, ie plain English? In words that we “get” and connect to straight away? That have an affect over us, that we can respond to, and that we can be motivated by?
Instead of using technical words and jargon (that’s all too easy for us all to fall into), how about speaking simply, with passion and from the heart? How could you explain your business in a way that your local 7 year old would understand?
This doesn’t mean to say that you have to dumb down; it does mean that you explain your business, and the benefits of it, in a straightforward way so that your audience can understand immediately what you do or what your product does. If they have to think about it, you’ve lost them.
For example, instead of “improves the engine capacity of your car“, how about “we make your car go further on less fuel“?
Instead of “we run a logistics company that organises the transport needed to move your products from your warehouse to our containers at the docks, and we deal with the A123 form, the XYZ form and the Customs and Excise triplicate blue form...”, how about “we get your products from A to B quickly, safely and with all the paperwork taken care of on your behalf.“?
This what we did with my client’s elevator pitch, and so it got changed in words that Charlie would understand. It still sounds professional, but this time it clearly demonstrates who my client can help and what benefit they will get. My client has been testing it out, with great results. People are sitting up and listening and asking to meet with her to find out more.
And as for my auto-responder guy: when I asked Charlie what “Same page moving forward” meant. She looked confused, giggled and then said “I have noooo idea”.
For clarity in your marketing messages, please call me on 01452 223306.
Dedicated to your success
See you next time,