In the second world war, it was important to save energy and the US Defense Department printed posters that said…
“Illuminations must be extinguished when premises are vacated.”
President Roosevelt was horrified.
“Why can’t they just say ‘Put out the lights when you leave’?”
Strategy is about communication.
Telling your prospective customers why you’re special, even unique.
And telling your employees the basic promises you are making to customers and what they need to do to turn those promises into reality.
To do both, you need to be understood.
That means escaping from management gobbledygook.
I had reason to look at a lot of websites from coaches a few months ago and I was shocked at how many I struggled to understand.
I’m reasonably bright and well informed and if I can’t understand, then there’s a good chance that potential clients were turned off before they understood what the basic message was.
It’s not just coaches.
Some years ago, I had a virtual assistants company as a client and they liked to dress up what they did as “digital transcription”.
This is false differentiation.
Sure you can come up with a fancy description of what you do but if people don’t understand it, they won’t ask.
They’ll just go away and find someone who talk to someone who will talk to them in ways that they can understand.
Even worse, in these Internet days where Google is king, if you don’t talk the language of your customer, then you are lost. Doomed to page ten of the searches and never found.
If you think that you have a compelling offer and you are surprised how badly it converts prospects into sales, take a look at the language you use.
Or you could be putting the lights out of your business when you leave for the last time.
Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace.