If you’re in business, chances are you’re trying to get someone — a customer or prospective client — to do something, whether it’s call you, visit your website, or try your product.
But in a crowded marketplace, how do you distinguish yourself from the competition?
Here are five ways your business can better educate and communicate with its customers.
1. Cut out what’s not important
It’s important to make every sentence as clear and efficient as possible. If you can omit a word, a sentence or a paragraph that’s not key to helping someone understand something, do it.
For example, if you sell lawnmowers and you’re trying to explain why your lawnmower is better than the other lawnmowers on the market, the customer probably doesn’t want to hear about the company’s history.
Don’t presume the audience has any interest in what your message is.
Business owners are consumed with their business, but forget that for customers, their interaction with you is just a small part of their day.
They want help, not necessarily the history of the product.
2. Explain things before you name things
If you work in a field with special terminology or jargon, be sure to explain the term and concept before using it over and over because people may not know what they mean.
For example, if you own an insurance company, customers have heard of copays and deductibles, but may not know the difference between the two or what they mean.
By explaining that a deductible is money that a customer pays before the insurance policy kicks in, you ensure everyone’s on the same page.
3. When possible, use metaphors
Using metaphors can help explain complicated concepts to consumers. For example, if you’re selling a complicated suite of business software tools, you could compare the solution to a busy restaurant, where the head chef efficiently directs her staff while keeping diners happy.
4. Be funny
People learn more and have a better experience if you can make them laugh. It’s not about jokes or gags.
It’s more about being human, approachable and personable. No matter what you’re doing, always remember you’re just talking to a single human being.
5. Tell the story in chronological order
In storytelling, it’s easy to get the order of events wrong. Therefore, it’s important to use real-life context when you’re trying to explain something to consumers. Put the consumer in the story so they understand how what you’re saying affects them.