How not to get lost in translation with your clients

12th November, 2016

How not to get lost in translation with your clients

I went to the cinema the other day.  After I’d bought my tickets, the automated ticket machine advised me not to forget to ‘visit the retail stand’.  Eh? I thought.  It took me a moment to realise that it meant the popcorn counter.

No movie goer uses the word ‘retail’ – it’s just where you buy stuff, right?  The cinema had just blown a golden opportunity, because let’s face it, even the word ‘popcorn’ gets my mouth watering and my hand reaching for my purse.

But so many businesses make this mistake, using the language of their own worlds rather than that of their clients.

So listen to the words your clients use.  Read their website and collateral.  How do they describe themselves?  How to they refer to their clients?  To their teams?  To their services?  What’s the language that their industry uses?  Make their vocabulary yours and you’ll soon have better conversations with your clients.

University of Cambridge