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Don't Hit Send Yet: 12 Words You've Been Getting Wrong

Posted February 17, 2015by Mary McCoy

You're, Your

It's, Its

Their, there. It's alright, we all make mistakes. For the longest time, I thought the expression was "for all intensive purposes," not "for all intents and purposes." Indeed, no one took my misinformed sister seriously when she used to say the "ghost," rather than coast, was clear.

We're not all Websters. It's easy to mix up certain words, but we look foolish when we do in business communications...especially if it's (not its) with a client or prospective client. Before you create your next seminar presentation or send out that prospect email, make sure you're using these 6 word variations correctly.

Spell check can't do all the work for you.

At the beginning of the month, we shared these Valentines Day-themed email templates, designed with the MSP in mind. Our hope was that by downloading these templates, you'd be able to show the love to your clients, thus strengthening your business relationships with them. As MSPs, you're in the client satisfaction business. You need to maintain regular contact with your customers so that they know your services are indispensable. 

So you've taken the first step by downloading the email templates, but they're worthless if your email writing is unprofessional and riddled with mistakes. 

We've taken a recent HubSpot blog post, 64 Wording Mix-Ups That Can Crush Your Credibility [SlideShare], and condensed it down to the 6 word pairings you can't afford to get wrong:

1. Adverse & Averse

adverse: harmful or unfavorable 

Ex: Using this word incorrectly can have an adverse impact on client retention. 

averse: having strong dislike or disposition 

Ex: Many clients are averse to MSPs that treat them like one of the many.


2. Affect & Effect 


(v): to alter or influence; to move to motion

(n): feeling or emotion

Ex: The MSP's cybersecurity presentation really affected the prospective client, convincing him that managed IT services were necessary for data protection. 

Related: Top 5 IT Security Threats & Trends to Watch in 2015: IT SNAFU Day 12


(v): to give guidance; to offer a suggestion

(n): desired impression

Ex: Sending customized email templates had the positive effect of reminding the CEO that his/her MSP was always looking out for the SMB .


3. Compliment & Complement

compliment: a polite expression

Ex: The MSP was so proud of his Help Desk technicians, that he complimented them for demonstrating unparalleled customer support. 

complement: to complete

Ex: Adding mobile device management (MDM) complemented her managed IT services offering, leading to an up-sell.

Related: Are You Answering the MDM Call? [Slideshare]


4. Farther & Further 

farther: a great distance

Ex: He had to leave his office earlier to meet with the client because he realized her office was farther away than he had anticipated. 

further: to advance

Ex: The IT service provider made such a compelling case for backup and disaster recovery (BDR) that the prospective client asked to discuss it further.

Related: Need Help Selling BDR to Clients? There's a Kit for That!


5. i.e. & e.g. 

i.e.: roughly meaning "it is"

Ex: She said the business owner was mistaken in thinking her company was properly backing up - i.e., we were about to make a bigger sale.

e.g.: roughly meaning "for example"

Ex: The MSP knew he wanted an RMM provider that integrated with multiple PSA platforms - e.g., Autotask and Connectwise. 

Related: MSP Partner Success with Continuum’s Autotask API Integration


6. Insure & Ensure 

insure: to secure or protect

Ex: By becoming more HIPAA-focused, his managed IT services business helped insure the privacy of patients' medical records.

ensure: to be certain of

Ex: She ensured her Service Level Agreement (SLA) outlined how service levels would be measured and reported before presenting it to the client.

Speaking of healthcare IT...

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Meet Mary! Mary McCoy is a Senior Demand Generation Programs Manager at Continuum, where she's worked for over two years. Mary has consulted with hundreds of partners, lending website, blog and social media support. Before that, she graduated from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) with a BA in Economics and served as digital marketing intern for Citi Performing Arts Center (Citi Center), spearheading the nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday social media campaign. Like her school’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, Mary believes learning never ends. She considers herself a passionate, lifelong student of content creation and inbound marketing.

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