A business associate wrote to me today about a disagreement she is having with a colleague. He believes that his extensive vocabulary (with words such as erroneous and ameliorate), complex sentence structures, folksy cliches, and rambling style make his business writing more interesting. She disagrees. Whose side do you...
The business section of today's Seattle Times features an article about Free & Clear, a company that provides stop-smoking programs. CEO Tim Kilgallon is quoted as saying "Tobacco treatment is the low-hanging fruit in health-care cost savings." The same quote appears under Mr. Kilgallon's photo in the print edition of...
Last week I received a detailed, well-written email from a new client. She had laid out a series of questions for me about an upcoming workshop. I responded to each question within the body of her original email. That way, she would instantly know which question I was answering....
Early this morning one of our clients returned our Friday phone call. She explained that she had been out of the office all day on Friday. While she was gone, she had received 70 email messages and 5 voice mail messages. Given her day away from the office, we...
Example 1: Five days ago I sent email to two clients letting them know about a training discount that would expire today. I got no response. Today our Client Services Manager phoned to remind them of the deadline. They both signed. Example 2: Several times over the past few months, I...
A manager was working late last night, slogging through the last of her email, when she noticed a strange lamp on the bookshelf. She picked it up. Since the lamp was dusty, she rubbed it with a cloth she kept in her desk drawer. As normally happens when a...
Our local business journal ran a headline in its online version this week: "Home sales last month were august." At first, I thought I had stumbled on a typo. Reading the first sentence, I was certain I had: "Western Washington home sales and prices continued to soar in August,...
Last week a client wrote asking for help with this problem sentence:"By assisting the credit union industry, we directly help our broader, credit union community and indirectly assist people to access money and get back on their feet."She was wondering about the word to in the phrase "to access." Whenever...
Many communication and marketing experts talk about having an elevator speech. It's the mini-speech you give someone to promote yourself, your idea, or your business. The connection with elevators is the idea that you have only 30 seconds or less--the time it would take to get to the top...
Yesterday I received Robert Middleton's weekly e-newsletter, "More Clients." The newsletter has a subscriber list of more than 40,000, and Robert is a top marketing resource for small service businesses. This week's "More Clients" focused on repackaging one's products and services. Although it wasn't about writing, it reminded me that...