A blog reader wrote to me this morning, baffled by a business email she had received. It was so filled with jargon that she–and I–could not tell what the heck the writer was selling.
Here are a few of the thick terms the writer tossed into a 200-word email that was supposed to be persuasive:
- Whitespace opportunity identification
- Transaction opportunity identification
- Disruptive ideation methodologies
- Highly differentiated company
- Market adjacency mapping
- Creation and validation of radical innovation
- Key innovation leader studies
- Intersect the dynamics of
Rather than meeting the reader's needs, the email mystified her. And she is a communications specialist at an engineering firm, not an intellectual slouch.
Also, she felt irritated that among all his details, the writer mentioned nothing about engineering or about her firm. When he requested a phone meeting ("a phone capabilities presentation"), she had no interest in saying yes.
The email writer happened to mention that his company leaders were scientists, PhDs, and MDs. But despite their brilliance and advanced degrees, when he and they communicate with clients or potential clients, they must speak the clients' language. They must describe how they can help meet the clients' goals in the clients' industries, not how they can "create and validate radical innovation."
Whenever you want to sell an idea, service, or product, remember that your readers want to know what you are selling–in plain language that meets their needs.
Do you receive messages like the one described? How do feel about them?