I run into situations all the time where I don’t need a “Something for Dummies” book, but I need the next level up. Â I recently spoke with a professional in the financial industry and every other word out of her mouth was a financial term. Being a lovely person I was able to ask what each one meant, but it was frustrating that I didn’t just “know”. For me – not her. Â Then I tried to do something new on the computer and the documentation is clearly written for someone who has just a little more knowledge than I do. Â Nowhere in this information does it tell you WHY you would use a portfolio or what the Testimonial function actually DOES. Â And THEN, I watched Diner, DriveIns, and Dives which I really like. Â He went to a place that had many, many ways to order a Philly Cheese Steak and the owner clearly prided himself on that. Â Did I mention you order by number? Â So if you don’t know what number, not only do you hold up this really long line (and those John Pinette fans know what I would say there) but you also get to feel stupid. Â Really? Â Come on!
It is time to go back and make sure the rest of the world can talk to us, use our products and follow what we are saying. Â There is no reason in the world to use your business short hand with customers unless they have been down this road before. Â Don’t expect them to know WHY your product does what it does. Â Did you know if you put in your documentation a couple different ways people use your product they might find another reason to use your product and it becomes even more indispensable? Â Gold!
And if you are thinking, no one reads the documentation, think again. Â I bought a baking stone from Pampered Chef years ago. Â It came with this stand that was a little weird but worked to keep the hot stone high off the counter so I didn’t scorch my counter when I used it. Â I was at a friend’s house and she had the same stone. Â Only her stand was actually a rack – you put under the stone so you have handles to put it in the oven and take it out. Â How did she know to use it that way? She read the directions. Â Genius. Â Guess what I do now when I buy cookware!
So sit down and think about how you would explain what you do with a client to your mother, or your grandfather or someone who doesn’t know it. Â They love you and want to understand so there’s no judgment or Â grumpy. Â Then recognize that if you define a jargony term for me and I get to use it later as if I know it, I get an ego boost. Bonus! Â Next time you are with a new client, tell them WHY your product or service does what it does, tell them HOW they interact with it, and make sure they know what they need to know. Â You’ll keep customers longer, I promise.
And by the way – I still use my handles as a stand. Â And so does my friend now!