I, me, moi! Eavesdrop on any Gen-Y conversation and you’ll be in no doubt: we live in the ‘me’ age. Facebook updates, tweets and blogs – there is a whole generation out there ready to share the minutia of their lives with the entire world.
The tyranny of ‘we’
But, at Proof Communications, we think much of the business community is living in the ‘we’ age. Desperate to talk about their size, reach, depth, experience, qualifications and overall fabulousness, many companies clutter their marketing communications with company facts that leave their readers cold.
In fact, we’d go as far as to say the biggest and most common mistake we see in business-to-business marketing communication is failing to focus on the customer.
Why reorientate your writing?
We always say that the customer is king. But if you read through the executive summary of your latest tender, or your corporate profile and the ‘we’s outnumber the ‘you’s, that lesson may have been forgotten.
Shifting the focus of your writing back to the person who is going to pay for your services makes sense for a number of reasons. Firstly, people like to know that you understand their issues and what they want from you. Secondly, they like to feel important. And thirdly, they don’t really care about you, they just care about whether (and possibly how) you can help.
Rephrase to focus on your customer
Don’t worry. By focusing on your client, they will still find out you are fabulous. But this time they might actually believe it.
For a few simple ways to refocus your writing, try rephrasing the following:
- instead of ‘What we do’, try ‘How we can help you’
- substitute ‘Why choose us’ for ‘The benefits to [your company]’
- replace ‘About [our company]’ with “How we will approach your issue’
Show, rather than tell
We all know that actions speak louder than words. It is more effective to show your readers your capability and experience through your insight and understanding, rather than just telling them you are great.
A potential client that reads a document that contains an insight, thought or fact that they did not know leaves a powerful and positive impression. How much more effective than a document that simply reads “We are experts in…” By sharing your insights, you show that you value your reader and at the same time you demonstrate your expertise.
When you are writing your next tender or marketing communication, make it your mission to keep your customer in focus.