Talk WITH your visitors – not AT them
By John Counsel — The Marketing Doctor
Imagine being invited into someone’s office and being shown to a seat directly in front of the owner’s desk, while they proceeded to lecture you, or spout volumes of cold information at you from the other side of the desk in an impersonal, formal, business-like way.
Now imagine how differently you’d feel if they brought their chair around to sit beside you and, in a frank and friendly manner, proceeded to work through how you can get better results from your business.
The difference in visitor perception and attitude is dramatic… much more positive and responsive. And all it takes is an inclusive style of writing – one that embraces them and draws them into a warm, friendly conversation as an integral, valued part of the process.
Here are a few simple tips that can improve visitor response dramatically.
- Use inclusive words like “we”, “us” and “our” instead of “you” and “your”.
- Write in coversational style. Forget those old, formal writing styles you learned at school. Write the same as you’d speak your message. If you can’t seem to do this, make some notes in point form, get hold of a trusted friend, then record yourself explaining your points to your friend. Transcribe the recording, edit it (you invariably say more than necessary when speaking), then see how it reads. Tweak it until it sounds natural.
- Relax! Hanging participles, ending sentences with a preposition and all those other formal rules of correct grammar are fine for professional writers and academics. But nobody speaks that way. Don’t break rules just for the sake of breaking them – but don’t be hog-tied by them, either. Make your words read naturally.
Remember… “rules are made for the guidance of the wise and the blind obedience of fools.”
Welcome your visitors as friends, not students or bureaucrats. Talk with them, not at them. Just a little practice and you’ll soon find it comes naturally.
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