When Knowing Too Much is A Bad Thing

By , March 30, 2013 9:40 am
Every entrepreneur should, and usually does, know every detail about their business. This is necessary to run a good business. However, when it comes time to communicate that information to your existing customers, potential customers, investors, etc. all this information becomes a problem.  It’s the ultimate example of TMI.
 
So the first thing you need to do is get out of your head and into the head of the customer or audience you are going to be communicating with.  What do THEY want to know?  The next thing is to keep the customer’s point of view and look back into your head and sift through the mental inventory you see there  and pull out only what you need.  If this sounds difficult, that’s because it is.  That’s one reason why marketers exist.  Not only can they go through your head and pull out what’s important, they make the final product look really good, and thus, make you look good. Aruna Inalsingh discusses this in her blog
http://www.animarketingservice.com/e-news/2013/03/22/the-importance-of-clear-executive-summaries/ . She uses executive summaries as an example. Executive summaries are a key piece of communications for any business, but the truth is you need clarity in every single piece of communications that goes out from your company. Aruna sums it up in a few key points.
 
Taking this clarity idea a radical step forward, Carmine Gallo talks about ditching the elevator pitch altogether with some great alternatives. I particularly like the one-word pitch. http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2013/03/26/six-simple-and-irresistible-alternatives-to-the-elevator-pitch/
But I don’t think it works in all situations (there was a period in my career where I wrote 2 word headlines on all my ads for about two years. I always won awards, but that’s a very hard thing to do).  
 
Evaluate your situation, your audience, and your own ability to communicate before you try these out. And it always helps to try out new ideas on a colleague or someone who doesn’t know the assignment. If they get it, great, if not, it will be reflected all over their face.  This is  great feedback.
 
If you can’t create these communications items on your own, then seek outside help. 

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

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