Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's All In How You Say It - Seven Ways To Say It Best

Polished and professional or clunky and crude?? Vocabulary is so important in how we communicate to our clients. That's the topic on this [B]Business Day Thursday. The right choice of words and phrasing not only reflect on us as professionals but also reflects on how our product is presented to our prospective clients. A good lesson can be learned from reading the menus in fine dining restaurants.

Here is an example: "Fall and winter are reflected in ripe vegetables and mellow spices, summer and spring feature delicate flavors bursting with freshness."
or from Chez Panisse
Green asparagus salad with pancetta and Parmesan tuile. Fava been, spring onion, and black trumpet tartlet. Grilled Wolfe Ranch quail with artichoke and black olive salsa, roasted potatoes with green garlic, and fresh garden salad. Coconut milk rice pudding with a rich mango accent.

My mouth is watering just typing the words - You get the idea. The same needs to be true in any business. Let me give you a few examples on how we might change the phrasing in some common business interchanges to add a sense of smoothness, softness, and inviting tone to the phraseology.

1. It was good talking with you on the phone yesterday. vs "I really enjoyed our phone visit yesterday. Let's visit by phone tomorrow."
Talking becomes visit and a visit is much more inviting term to hear.
2. Let's make an appointment for you to pick out your pictures. vs. "Let's plan on getting together to "fine tune" the selection." Fine tune has a lesser sense of finality to it and implies the studio's assistance in the process.
3. We retouch all of are pictures. vs. "Each image is enhanced for its best presentation in your home." Retouching is a photographer's terminology and makes little sense to the client. Use the words they can relate too.
4. Can I make an appointment for you so we can talk about your wedding? vs. "When can we get together and visit about your wedding plans?" It just sounds a bit smoother.
5. I'm calling because I heard you had some problems with some pictures we delivered. vs. Hello Mrs. Smith, I wanted to visit with you because I understand there may be some issues with your order." I first heard the term issues when I called Microsoft on a tech support question. I had a problem, but they softened it to an issue. I loved the term and have been using it ever since.
6. Our pictures last a long time. vs. "We deliver an archival, museum quality photography." Archival, museum quality says it all.
7. The wall portrait will cost $1000. vs. "The investment for something beautiful for your home will be around $1000." Wall portrait is passe' these days and investment implies long term worth.

Anyway, you get the idea?? Take a peek at the common verbal interchanges that take place in your business everyday. Analyze them for message, polish, effectiveness. Enhance the terminology for the best and most professional communications effect. This can be a subtle yet important differentiators for your business.

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