What do busy business execs hate even more than incomprehensible IT jargon and lame buzzwords? Jargon’s ugly cousin, Fluff. She’s no beauty. She’s over-stuffed and over-wrought – the verbal poster child for More Is Better. But here’s a reality check: more is not better when it comes to communication.
Unfortunately too many marketers and other business messengers think Fluff makes them seem more important. “Why use a one-syllable word,” they pompously ask themselves, “when I could employ two, or utilize three?”
Stuffing your writing or conversation with Fluff is bad for business, whether you’re trying to communicate internally with co-workers or externally with colleagues and customers.
Wordiness wastes people’s time and can obscure your meaning. Vagueness erodes trust. It can lead people to believe you have nothing of real value to say or, worse, you’re trying to confuse them with lots of meaningless blither. Are you “fluffing” them because your services are inferior or not on-point for them? They wonder.
Your current and desired customers are not in the IT business. They may well have IT professionals on staff, but they’re busy, too. As critical as IT is, their company is focused on something else – delivering better healthcare, providing valuable telecom services, helping office equipment dealers modernize their offerings, or another industry. They want to enhance or expand their business, cost-effectively.
To get their attention and keep it, you must be able to explain succinctly how your services enable them to do that.
Brevity is everybody’s BFF.
Fluffy marketing content and proposals are not impressive. How much extra verbiage do you want to read? Doesn’t it make you nuts when the person speaking to you babbles on?
Shorter words are generally better, because they’re easier on the eyes. Shorter sentences are generally better, too. So get to the point and stay there when you’re dealing with busy business people, whether that’s someone down the hall or a prospect across the country. It’s a matter of respect as well as making your point clearly.
Become an expert at verbal liposuction. Trim your presentations of Fluff by removing unnecessary words and replacing vague expressions with clear language. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use technical words, phrases and acronyms common to managed services – this is your business, after all. But be certain your audience understands what you’re saying.
The easier you make it for them, the more attracted they will be to your company as a potential working partner because they can readily recognize how your services will improve their business. That’s their bottom line.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our blog series about IT jargon. If you've missed any of our previous posts, catch up with:
- Is IT Jargon Monoxide Poisoning Your Marketing Content and Sales Conversations?
- Why Jargon is a Disaster for Your IT Marketing (and How to Recover)
- 6 Clues That You Might Be a Jargonaut
- How to Kick the Jargon Habit
Moving forward, we hope you’ll make an effort to “just say no” to jargon and its ugly cousin, Fluff. Have some fun with it. It will strengthen your business as well as your relationships with prospects and customers.
By Gretchen Hoffman