discourse and disconnect.

I continue to wonder at the times where what is said and what is heard are misinterpreted. Working in the AV/IT/multimedia communications industry, we see interesting and innovative technologies every day. It is easy for me as a technologist to think my explanation of some relatively common idea or new development is always clear.

But for those who are not familiar with those same concepts, my seemingly clear explanation is often perceived as obtuse, or worse, obfuscated. In my role as a marketer (the other hat), the goal is to describe value, benefit, and proof of concept that speaks directly to a client’s needs and the impact and results that our services will deliver.

To reach a level of common understanding, it behooves the marketer (and the professional) to find language that is clear, concise, and that focuses on the client or potential client’s vocabulary, not on the vocabulary of your particular industry. Framing dialogue around their needs, issues, constraints, and connecting concepts to the realities of their business or enterprise is critical to build a successful professional B2B relationship.

Using language that sounds good, but actually means nothing, only serves to frustrate the reader (or listener). Worse, that approach builds barriers to effective communication and collaboration. So the next time you are tempted to say, “By maneuvering imaginatively within operational boundaries, the latent potentials of the project can be teased out of the very restrictions that would seem to weigh it down,” think twice.

The client’s reaction is more likely to be “WTF” than, “Wow, that’s really clear.” I know we can all do better.

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I have been active in the building industry for more than 35 years, holding leadership roles in design, project management, marketing, business development, strategic planning, and operations.