Each of us has a language that we're comfortable with and that we use in our daily conversations. And I'm not speaking only about English, or German, or Spanish. If you're reading this, you're probably thinking in English. If it were written in German, you'd probably be thinking in German. So if I know you think in English, I wouldn't write to you in German.
The same principle applies when talking to your clients. People understand and respond best to their own language.
I love marketing and copywriting so I see and hear things as they relate to marketing and copywriting. I tend to use marketing terminology a lot because I'm comfortable with it and understand it.
When someone speaks to me in marketing or copywriting terms, I immediately feel a resonance with them. It's as if they recognize something that's important to me, and that makes me tick. It's like talking to a good friend and, after a conversation, saying "she really understands me."
Every business, profession or industry has its own words. When you are selling to a group of people with a common language (for example doctors, attorneys, web designers), you'll connect more deeply with them if you use their language. They'll feel you understand them, they'll begin to trust you and it will be easier for you to enroll them as clients.
How do you know their language? Do your own little research project!
- Listen to them. Talk to your current clients. Or identify people in your target group and have a conversation with them. Listen for words and phrases that they habitually use.
- Subscribe to online forums or professional groups where they hang out, and watch how they express themselves. There are endless possibilities to do this on LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, Yahoo groups. Many of the more narrowly-defined groups are open to anyone, even if they are moderated.
This takes time, but it will pay off by giving you a way to create a closer connection with your clients and potential clients.
However, many of us do not work with a narrow group of people who have a well-defined common language.
Now the picture is different.
When your market is more diverse, it's time to leave the professional terminology aside, and speak in everyday words.
In this case, using a language specific to a certain group, or indeed to your own business, is more likely to alienate your listeners because they won't understand what you're talking about or it will feel distant to them.
Tailor your language to your clients and you'll give yourself a much better chance of success.
Copyright 2012 Maggie Dennison. All rights reserved.