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Saturday, 24 December 2011

On the Fifth Day - Getting Real or Selling Yourself Short?

Exaggeration may make you feel good at the time, but it is a super-fast turn-off for everyone else and you’re kidding yourself if you think that anyone else actually believes you. Or if they do at the time, they’ll feel let down later and you’ve broken their trust. Exaggeration also fails to describe what you do actually offer, so it costs you relevant sales enquiries.

So today’s top tip you can do right now to help get you and your company better known in 2012 is to run a word search on your own web copy for terms like solutions, architecture and outcomes.

I’ve noticed solutions and architecture are used in pretentious and exaggerated copy when the terms are not being used literally.

Google “architecture” – a recent search produced on p1: “enterprise business architecture” – what they meant was: software.

‘Solutions’ can mean anything from contact lens cleaning solutions to problem solving, so the term is so general and so widely used as to be virtually meaningless. It’s a cop-out word that replaces what you actually do with a meaningless term. It did have a purpose when IBM went from selling computer hardware to focusing on consultancy. The first appearance of IBM adverts claiming to sell solutions certainly jolted me out of my preconception that they were a hardware provider, so it did the job stunningly well.

Selling Yourself Short?At the opposite end of the scale, are you accidentally under-claiming? Beware using the term “outcome” or “outcomes” because many outcomes just happen regardless of causes or intention. So unless you want to sound ineffectual, ban the word from your vocabulary. If you feel you have to use outcome(s) because it is ingrained in your clients’ culture, qualify it by adding the word ‘positive’ in front to remove any doubt.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: TV Channel on YouTube:
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