[day 5] learn the life skill that increases productivity
LESSON 5: my 4 step formula to good communication
ONE - WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?
You probably wouldn’t start an email to your factory saying “hey, girlfriend”. Out of respect to other cultures in India, we usually say, Sir or ma’am. And when I worked with Japanese mills we always added San to the end of the name.
But, if you were speaking to your target customer, and they just so happened to be a very casual, a little bit sassy, 30 something woman – hey, girlfriend, could be a totally relatable and real way to great them in an email.
The point is, before you can start writing copy, an email, a blog post, your memoirs… really anything… you need to know who you are talking to.
TWO - WHAT'S THE POINT?
What is the purpose of you putting pen to paper, or I guess in the modern world typing on your laptop or phone?
When we don’t have a purpose we tend to ramble. And, when we ramble we tend to confuse people.
So, once you know who it is you want to talk to, you need to ask yourself why do I want to talk to them – what is it that I need to say.
Let’s go back to the sustainable odor-free leggings I was talking about earlier this week.
When we’re talking to our supplier it’s all about the leggings. Nothing else. They don’t care about the shoes someone is going to wear with them. Or what trendy workout class they are going to take. Their job is just to hit the correct specs – meaning measurements and get the product made the right way. So, again, if we were talking about the pockets we might say, something like, move the pocket down one inch, and make it 1 inch bigger.
When we are talking to our customers it’s a little different. They probably don’t care about the exact placement of the pockets.
They just care if they work.
So, when talking to our customer, about the same pocket we might say something like. The perfect size pockets to keep all your running necessities strategically placed not to get in your way.
Big difference compared to talking to a supplier, right?
THREE - ARE YOU BEING YOU?
Sometimes when we are being business people we use words that we think others want us to use. Or, we are trying to prove we are smart and end up using overly complicated language.
Remove all those fancy buzz words like synergistic deep dive into our return on investment – what does that mean anyway? And, here is the secret. Just talk like your normal self.
You are an intelligent and interesting person. Use your inner voice. Not only does this help keep your writing clear and easy to understand. It is also going to let you show your personality.
And, that’s the ticket to good communication. When you show your genuine self to people, they are going to like you. And when people like you two things will happen. One, in the case of suppliers they will want to help you and do the best job possible. And two, with your customers, when they like you, they will want to buy from you, and support your business.
FOUR - GIVE AN EXAMPLE OR TELL A STORY
Sometimes examples are a great way to really drive your point home.
So, when talking to my supplier about these leggings. I might say make the pocket the exact same as another style in the range. See how the example makes it more clear? Not only am I telling them what to do, but I am also saying if you feel confused, just look at this example and follow that.
Now with your customer, it’s a little different.
Instead of using an example, you might want to tell a story or get super detailed. Good copywriters are able to grab interest and transport their readers into another world, just like a good book can. We could have simply just written these leggings have pockets. But, that is not interesting.
Instead, we could say something like jog your way straight to brunch - never have to worry about showing up smelly after a sweat sesh. Plus the extra-large pockets are perfect for holding all your post-workout necessities.
By adding some more details, we create a better experience for the customer.
Let’s get writing. Download today's communication worksheet, and I will see you tomorrow for lesson 6.