No, not my relationship status. Or my tax affairs.
No, these two seemingly innocent little words are what I hear from new clients all the time.
It’s normally when they are trying to defend the dry, turgid, help-me-I’m-slipping-into-a-coma-reading-this language that they used to describe their business.
‘What we do is complicated,’ they justify to me. ‘So we need complex language to describe it. It’s what our clients expect.’
Do clients really get all excited over ‘full-service end-to-end solutions’ peppered with some long-winded industry-specific jargon? I doubt it.
It’s the total opposite in fact.
We love people who can explain complicated things in a refreshingly down-to-earth way.
Think of that IT technician who explains clearly how to stop your computer crashing. Such a relief, you’re tempted to name your first-born after them, right?
Think of that warm-hearted doctor who tells you in simple language what’s wrong with you and how to treat it. So reassuring, isn’t it?
Think of that wonderful plumber who patiently describes in layman’s terms what’s wrong with your weird-sounding washing machine and what options you have to sort it out. Great to feel you aren’t being ripped off, right?
We don’t think less of these people. In fact we’re far more likely to trust them, recommend them and go back to them again and again.
Making things simple isn’t dumbing down. It’s a valuable skill that wins trust and loyalty.
So wherever you can, use everyday words, simple concepts and short sentences to describe what you do. It’s not always easy, but I promise it’s always worth it.