The use of business jargon in marketing can be puzzling, uninteresting and boring to our customers; but as a business owner there is always that big temptation to lean towards it. We might want to sound like experts in the field or leaders in the industry, but our customers don’t really care. They want something that they can closely relate to; and as business owners, it is our job to provide them with that.
Tip Number One: Never use Acronyms
Never use acronyms unless they’re referring to something generally known like ANZ, UN, or such. As a general rule, avoid all types of acronyms in any material that get distributed to customers. Matter of fact, you’ll be very surprised as to how many people don’t even know what ASAP or RSVP means.
Tip Number Two: Less Words, Less Mistakes
When you’re editing your materials, try cutting down what you want to say in half. You’ll be surprised at how much fluff can be edited off your writing. Moreover, you’ll only retain the most important keywords that you need to get the point across. Treat each word like it’s worth about five dollars, and you’ll only be putting in the most important ones.
Tip Number Three: Set Appointments, Make those Calls, and Refrain from Emails and Text Messages
The number one cause of miscommunication is not meeting face-to-face or not talking over the phone. A lot of words can be misinterpreted on email because context such as facial expressions, bodily gestures, intonation, and emotions get lost. As much as possible, set a meeting with your customer, or if this isn’t feasible, just pick up the phone and make a call. Emails or text messages should always be your last options.
Tip Number Four: Use Concrete Examples on your Proposals
One of the best ways to attract a customer’s attention to your proposal is to put in testimonials from real customers. Potential customers don’t really want to hear what you can do for them; but they’ll be more interested in hearing what you have done for people like them.
Tip Number Five: Present Clear Cut Options to your Clients
A client doesn’t want to hear the words, “It’s up to you” from you. What a client wants are clear-cut options with the pros and cons of each served on a silver platter. This not only makes options clearer to both parties, but it also gives the impression to the client that he or she is in control. More importantly, this also makes the decision-making process faster.
Tip Number Six: Stop Beating Around the Bush
Respect the customer’s time as how you want yours respected. In face to face conversations, don’t go dilly-dallying by going through irrelevant stories and such. Be straight to the point. Tell your customer why you’re in his or her office right away. Same thing goes for written materials. Treat written materials as your ‘one-minute-of-fame.’ Write down your proposition in a way that the sum up can be read by just a quick glance.
Tip Number Seven: Catch Key words and Phrases from your Client
Paying attention to key words and phrases that your client uses will help you determine your approach. For example, if the client uses a lot of words that are known to your industry, then you can use technical terminologies. If not, then you would need to explain everything in layman’s terms.
Tip Number Eight: Be Sensitive to Facial Expressions
Always be on the look-out for signs of doubt or confusion. Once you detect this, be proactive enough to anticipate the question and answer it.
Tip Number Nine: Check if your Mum would Understand
This is the best test in avoiding jargon. Pitch your product or service to your mum. Have her read your materials. If she doesn’t understand them, or you think she wouldn’t understand them, then you’ve used one word too many.
Tip Number Ten: Honesty is still the best policy
Persuade your clients with honesty. Transparency, rather than buzzwords, is always the key to any business deals.