In the column, Karen asks, “How easy do you make things for your own customers all year round? Do they struggle to understand how you can help them? Is your website tough to navigate? Do they sometimes need a dictionary to interpret your emails?”
I am sure that Karen and I are not the only business professionals to have received correspondence or emails from other businesses that are shrouded in acronyms and tough to follow lingo. When this happens I usually find myself scratching my head and muttering, “What the…..?”
It is crucial when communicating with your target audiences, be they referral sources or prospective customers/clients, that you do so in a clear and concise manner. In addition, your message should be crafted to fit each of the audiences that will receive it. You wouldn’t send the same messaging to a referral source that you would to a client or prospect. No matter what form of communication you use – snail mail, email, voicemail, blog, social media post, website, be sure that you make it clear how you can solve the reader or listener’s problems. If someone has to replay your voice message or reread your email or post multiple times to understand what you are saying or asking for, then you haven’t done a good job of communicating and you are not only wasting their time, you are not using your time efficiently and effectively either.
When I pitch a story idea to a reporter or editor, I try to do it concisely, cleanly and quickly. They are busy people poring over hundreds of email pitches every day. I give them the basic idea, the angle or hook, and generally some bullet points to go along with the pitch. I offer to send them additional details if they are interested in learning more. If I know visuals are important, I attach a photo(s). If there are technological concepts involved, I try to define them briefly so that the reporter or editor is not left to wonder what I am talking about. That is an easy way to get your pitch deleted in a hurry.
So keep in mind for your business that people generally do not want to read through an endless stream of information and details. And, they certainly don’t want to have to look up words or acronyms that they can’t understand. People want to know how you will solve their problems and make things easier for them. Give them what they want and you’ll be surprised at how well they will respond!