As small business owners, it is important for customers to remember us, buy from us, and refer us. If it is so important to us as a business, then why do we overcomplicate our everyday communication?
Many times we have a tendency to talk or write too much when we feel anxious about receiving approval from others. We believe the more we share the more likely they will like us and choose us. This form of oversharing relieves the internal pressure we feel as we validate ourselves with as many words as possible whether spoken or written.
What happens to my business when I overshare?
When we overshare there is a greater likelihood we will confuse the customer. Confuse the customer because we are sharing information not relevant to their situation nor problem. When customers are confused they are less likely to make a decision and/or purchase and will walk away.
You will see this happen in emails, newsletters, web pages, and in-person meetings. We give the customer too much information or ask them to make multiple decisions which are not focused and they get overwhelmed.
I have also seen this happen when someone is attempting to close a deal. In an effort to secure the contract the business owner keeps talking because they are nervous and want the sale. As they continue to talk it creates the possibility of new objections, smaller sale, or no sale at all. The best thing to do is BE QUIET after you have asked for the sale. Whoever talks first when negotiating is the conceding party.
How do I simplify my message?
I have found the better we understand our own business the easier it is to talk about it in a concise and clear manner. When we do not know who we are, who we are serving, what we have to offer and the benefit to the client then this creates space for doubt. Where there is doubt there is a lack a confidence which then turns into oversharing to compensate.
If you are are in the beginning stages or even an experienced business owner, it helps to have talking points you can rely on.
If you are in the beginning stages of business, I would highly encourage creating a script or template for your online communication and in-person meetings. It allows you to be focused, polished, and professional. I have helped clients create and refine their scripts for these reasons. As you gain experience, you will become more comfortable with your messaging and rely on the script less and less.
If you are reading this and think that a script makes you unauthentic, it does not. The words are still yours. Does a rookie baker following a recipe make them any less a baker? No. The recipe gives them the format and process for success. The same as your script and templates will do for your business.
One of the reasons I enjoy Twitter and believe it helps my writing is because it forces me to be very deliberate in the words I choose. I only have 280 characters (used to be 140) to grab someone’s attention and have them take action. How do I do that accurately and concisely? This is essentially an exercise in elevator pitches. 😉
How does simplifying my message benefit my business?
The more accurate and concise your messaging, the easier it is to remember. This is important due to the amount of content we all consume daily.
Do you know the reason why phone numbers are 7-digits long (without area codes)? It is because our short-term memory is a finite resource with a limited capacity. Per psychologist George Miller the longest sequence a person can remember is about 7 items.
The less information and fewer choices you provide a customer, the easier it is for them to make a decision and for you to obtain the sale. Too many times we think we are helping them by giving them all the information and choices available. However great sales and business owners know in order to best serve your clients, you find out their exact problems and needs then show the best available solutions.
My challenge for you moving forward is to leave room for your customers to share their challenges, problems, and needs. Give them space to talk and ask you questions. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you learn and gain from them.
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