“The doctor told me he’d never seen one quite like it before.”
It was 7.30am, on a packed commuter train, and the woman on the phone seated opposite me was just getting into her stride.
“Bright green and oozing,’ she went on, proudly, in a cut-glass voice that pierced through the carriage.
Oblivious to the horrified faces around her, for the next fifteen minutes she described in full technicolour her exact medical issue. No detail too personal. No adjective too intimate.
Just. Too. Much. Information.
But it’s a common communication complaint I diagnose in the business world too.
Time and time again I see business people spilling their guts about their business without a second thought to tailoring the information to their audience. Or giving a full ‘warts and all’ description of all of their services instead of a thoughtful, concise or edited version.
Are You An Over-Sharer?
- churn out the same over-long ‘cut and paste’ emails to clients and prospects (without thinking about what they’re really interested in)?
- rock up to meetings with your tired old 40 slide presentation about every detail of your business?
- go on ‘autopilot’ when you talk to clients and prospects because you’ve done it so many times before?
If so, you’re a Classic Over-Sharer. You don’t give enough time or thought to your audience, your circumstance or your situation. And you need to remedy this, fast, otherwise your clients will be looking for the emergency exit.
To make more of an impact and be more persuasive, try treating every meeting and every presentation as if it were your first. Ask yourself:
- How much does my audience already know about my business and my industry? (if you don’t know, ask them!)
- What are the 3 main things they need to know to make a decision?
- What don’t they care about? What can you leave out?
By taking a bit of time to tailor your information to your audience, you’ll end up with a communication style that packs way more punch and will help you win more business.
Remember: not everyone wants or needs to know everything. That woman’s friend on the end of the phone may have wanted to hear all the gory details, but I certainly did not.
Trust me, some things you just don’t need to know. Ever. <shudder>