The World's Biggest Marketing Mistake

Years ago at my corporate job, I had a client group that would speak in abbreviations that no one else understood. They’d talk fast, use acronyms unknown to any other woman or man on the planet and then wonder why no one would be able to keep up.*

Sometimes we make the same mistake. 

We know what we know so darn well that we forget our potential clients are not always on the same page. We can listen to them and quickly figure out how to solve their problem, but we don’t explain it in language they recognize. So our potential clients may not see that we're able to help them and pass us by. 

Online business expert Jenny Shih calls it the "Jargon Trap”. 

"It’s when you use your own “expert speak” or “industry slang” or “Jargon” to talk about what you do—not words your clients understand.” Here’s her terrific blog post on this topic too. 

Consider this next jargon gem. 

I once had a yoga teacher that talked in talked in terms that only an MD would understand. 

As a yoga student I understand: 

  • Downward dog 

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana 

  • Or even stretch your hamstrings 

But I have NO idea where my semitendinosus is nor do I care. She wasn’t speaking to yoga students, she was speaking to either a doctor or physical therapist. 

See the difference? 

So always check your jargon at the door. 

The next time you write an email, blog post, or talk to a potential client remember, speak their language

Be sure to use: 

  • Your client’s exact words so they feel understood 

  • Commonly used words so that people get what you’re saying right away

  • Expression and phrases that are relatable 

Don’t worry about sounding like the expert. Be more concerned with understanding your client’s problems. Then respond with genuine concern and empathy. That’s language everyone understands. 

Tell me, have you ever been spoken to in jargon? Post in the comments and tell me some of the stuff you’ve heard. 

*They were rude and obnoxious too but that’s besides the point. 😉 

Marissa BishopComment