If you want to get your point across and make a friend, use plain English. Industry jargon may be fine for working around your coworkers, industry friends and associates, but it should not be used in sales presentations. Jargon is one of the greatest frustrations for a buyer. The inability to grasp what is being said when speaking to a sales person will kill a sale every time. Your job as sales pro is to close the deal, but your success rate depends on building rapport and a relationship with your prospect. If they cannot “get it” you are wasting your time. Your presentation should be easily explained in layman’s terms so that even a high school student can understand clearly. The same holds true for your written communications.
One of my closest friends, a District Attorney, used to tell me that when he would compose his closing argument to the jury he would try to write it at the eighth grade level. That way he felt that he wouldn’t be speaking above or below anyone on the jury and that his argument would be perfectly understood.
In the inbound marketing world, we refer to this concept as communicating by “persona”.
By speaking to an audience, or writing for that matter, communicate in a language they can understand and relate. Your message will be received without delay or suspicion if they can clearly correlate the information. This is nothing new; the concept has been around for as long as story telling. It is a skill however, that must be practiced and mastered to be effective.
Persona is Latin word for the word Mask, when in ancient Greek dramas the actor would change a mask for whomever he played. Although the actor was the same person, the change of mask, and the change of voice and inflections got their point across without difficulty. When someone speaks about a particular topic and is well versed but fails to reach the audience, said person is referred to as an unreliable narrator. Trust does not ensue nor does belief. This can be on the stage of performance or the stage of the sales presentation. Your message must resonate and not repel. The term a writer’s voice (metaphor) is a clear example of speaking to the audience for maximum effect and acceptance of the message. It may be turn of phrase, tone, tempo or language. Jargon is part of the language that should be avoided when your audience is the general public.
A great example of persona is when a friend calls on the phone, and within a word or two, you know exactly who is on the other end of the line. The sound of their voice, tone and language are clear and defined, making them instantly accepted and acknowledged.
When speaking to an audience either in person or in writing, you should do so from a perspective other than your own. That said, this is not to deceive but to relate. Enter the mind of your audience, and create a being that mirrors the tone, tempo and language of them so that your message will be instantly received. From a selling standpoint, your prospect has certain expectations and a particular perspective, so speak to them rather than merely regurgitating facts and figures and canned jargon.
If your marketing is at the point where developing the message through the use of persona and you can’t seem to make headway, contact Zen Marketing Inc. for some assistance. We’ll get you started on the road to successful communications that appeal to your prospects, or we can handle the entirety of your persona writing needs.