Speak Engrish Much?

A recent email from my trademark law firm got me thinking about how our own orientation and granular level knowledge of our business can make us inscrutable to our prospects. I’m sure I do it. I send something to a prospect with the expectation that they will have the same perspective, experience and language I use. They don’t know my jargon and “poof” they’re gone. Confused? You’re not alone.

Now this firm is a good one and I am satisfied with their work but sometimes I think to myself, “The reason I’m paying you guys is because I’m not a fricken’ lawyer!”. I need experts to help my feeble mind comprehend subjects that are outside of my domain. If those experts assume I have their knowledge and start communicating with me using acronyms, jargon and terms that, to them, are pedestrian – I end up confused and their value is diminished.

When it comes to marketing, simpler is better. Never assume the recipient of your message knows what you know. In fact assume they know nothing. If you can communicate your value and message clear enough so that the village idiot gets it, you will be way ahead with regard to making a sale. Before the angry comments start, I’m NOT implying that prospects are idiots – I’m saying that, when you create marketing communications, you need to be very aware that the folks on the other side of the table don’t have your expertise. If you care about whether they “get it”, it is your responsibility to be clear and to educate them.

Here’s a fun activity. Go find someone who is completely separate from your industry and market space. Have them read your web site home page. Then, ask them to describe your value proposition or what you do as a company. If they nail it, you know you are communicating clearly. If not, you might have some work to do.


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