Do You Speak the Language of Your Audience
Successful networkers, business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals, salespeople and others have one significant trait in common; the ability to speak a language their audience understands. The ability to speak in a manner your audience understands is the key to effectively delivering your message! This is especially true with your referral network; the topic of this article.
If your referral network doesn’t understand your message; they will be ineffective in providing referrals and, in most cases, they will not even make an attempt on your behalf. Your referral network wants a message which is clear, to the point and easy to remember. Anything else and your attempts to convey your message will be wasted effort.
Things to Avoid When Delivering Your Message
Things you want to avoid in your message:
- TMI – Too Much Information;
- Overuse of industry jargon and acronyms;
- Complex terms and descriptions;
- Lists of skills, abilities, products and services;
- Irrelevant references and information;
- Too many options;
- The appearance of a “Jack of All Trades, but Master of None”; and
- Trust, reliability and credibility issues.
TMI – Too Much Information
Sometimes we get carried away when we start talking about what we do or have to offer. If your goal is to educate your referral network they must have a clear understanding of what you do, the products you sell or the services you provide. You need to know and be able to convey your primary message.
Overuse of Industry Jargon and Acronyms
Your goal should not be to make your referral network an expert in your field. (As a side note, if a conversation can rapidly create experts; you have a bigger problem to address!) You want to avoid using jargon and acronyms because your referral network, most likely, will not remember these terms or, at least, be unable to explain the terms. Rather than be embarrassed, they will not give the referral!
Your job is not to impress your referral network; your job is to educate your referral network!
Complex Terms and Descriptions
This is a big problem for many professionals whether they are doctors, engineers, computer nerds (I’m one so I can say this) or others where there are many complex terms. Using these terms may impress your referral network or most others in your audience; but they won’t bring you referrals. Your referral network must be able to easily tell your story. If they can’t; they won’t!
Lists of Skills, Abilities, Products and Services
Lists will be forgotten. Pick one or two, at the most, important points and then use those points in a story explaining the value provided. People remember stories, they do not remember lists.
Irrelevant References and Information
Don’t bog your audience down with unnecessary information. You want them to remember the important points so don’t get carried away with irrelevant details. Make your story easy and, even better, enjoyable to relate.
Too Many Options
Focus on the key points you want your audience to remember! Don’t give them a list of options and hope they remember something. Make it easy for them to make your case and refer you.
The Appearance of a “Jack of All Trades, but Master of None”
In an attempt to avoid missing opportunities we often try to present ourselves as being able to do anything and everything. Your referral network will never be able to figure this out and effectively refer you. They may give a referral saying you can do anything, but it diminishes your value and your ability to be compensated for the value you bring to the table. People will take advantage of you and without the initial specificity you will be hard pressed to argue the point.
Trust, Reliability and Credibility Issues
Lastly the language you speak MUST speak to your trust, reliability and credibility. These traits are critical to a strong referral network. If the members of your referral network have any doubts or concerns regarding your trust, reliability and credibility; they will not take a chance and refer you. Your referral network has built a relationship with their network and they will not risk jeopardizing those relationships on someone they do not find trustworthy, reliable or credible.