business writing ideas from Word Constructions      

 

 

welcome to the Word Constructions business ideas newsletter

Hello {name}! Welcome to the July edition of business writing ideas from Word Constructions!

A new financial year has started in Australia and many other countries, and I love working with people who want to freshen their communications along with starting their new accounts. Of course, that isn't always easy if he new year is a busy time and means preparing annual reports, budgets and similar materials.

I have participated in a few webinars recently and have noted some ideas which I am implementing or thinking about. A couple of statements you may find interesting are "if you're saying the same a your competitors, you're not special" and "don't reduce the value of your work - discount associated products or value add in the price rather than discount your service rates".

When is the last time you reviewed your competitors' sites and made sure your point of difference is still something different? Do you need to find a new way to be different or just a new way to express your difference to make it fresh and obvious? Just knowing you are the best is not enough if you aren't letting potential customers know as well.

Until next time, use your words wisely,

Tash

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The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools
~ Confucius


business communications article by Tash Hughes

Match or exceed expectations
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

When someone visits your website or contacts your business, they will have certain expectations of you and what they want. While you can't control their expectations before they reach your business, it is critical that you manage expectations from that point.

In short, you must give current messages that you can deliver on.

Travel booking sites are a perfect example for me to use as I've just been browsing a number of them. If a site shows a calendar with different colours to show booked and vacant periods, they are setting an expectation that the venue or tour is available on certain dates. Attempting to book for that period and getting a reply that they are booked out is therefore frustrating - and in two cases the site continued showing the hotel as available in searches more than 24 hours after that reply.

Out of date information can also lead to frustrated site visitors - imagine how you would feel after doing some comparison shopping to find a great price and placing an order, you find out that the site hasn't updated in a while and the price is actually higher than you expected. Or you get interested in a seminar in your local area 'next month' and then read the fine print to realise the website hasn't been updated in 12 months.

"Under promise and over deliver" is a well used expression and it is important to remember that it refers to your website and written materials as well as during personal conversations with customers.

Be careful not to offer anything you can't deliver, even if you are planning to move up to that new service or promise in the future. Giving more will never make you look bad, and you can always update your words when the new service is added - in fact, regular updates is good practice anyway!
 



Writing procedures has many advantages for your business so this eBook makes it easy to understand their value and write procedures yourself

 


don't forget the basics

Proof reading needs more than one go
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

Unless you are writing a one sentence email, proof reading all written materials you produce as part of your business is important to present yourself professionally and effectively.

However, have you thought about the fact that there are various parts of proof reading? For instance, there is the fine detail of spelling and grammar, flow and meeting purpose, and then a review of the content itself.

It is really hard to do all aspects of proof reading at the same time so be kind to yourself and concentrate on one aspect at a time - and yes that does mean you have to read and proof read your material more than once!

Personally, I find typos and other basic errors distracting so I prefer to get those details fixed first before reading for flow, style and purpose (that is, is the text doing what you wanted it to for the right audience). Others prefer to do those details later in case more errors are added while correcting the flow or style. In other words, it is up to you which aspect you check first.


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An offline back up is great for accidental deletions, not just for computer failure or fire!
 


poor examples

Sometimes, the easiest way to learn the correct way to do something is to see it done poorly so in this section of my newsletter, I show you some real-life examples of writing that need a little help.

This is from an email (ie spam) I received some time ago. They started by apologising for emailing me and promising to never email again if I wasn't interested. Their second paragraph is today's example.

Example:

We are a printing service company, and wish to find you to sale products for us. Currently we provide full color printing service, which looks probably what you are providing, business cards, flyers, brochures, etc.

Issues with this example:

I assume English is not their first language and so they don't realise that 'sale' and 'sell' are different words - either they want me to sell their products for them or they want to make a sale through contacting me.

'wish to find you' is a strange expression as they have just emailed me which implies they have already found me! Their point is to ask me to do something or tell me they want to find someone who will do something.

'which looks probably' is badly written but also shows they have no idea what I actually provide - so why are they so keen for me to sell their products for them? And if it did look like what I provided (implying it is no better than my current printing) why would I need to swap to their services anyway?

I also don't like the repetition of 'printing service' in the two sentences - using it once would suffice, with the second sentence just stating 'our printing experience includes business cards...'

From a marketing perspective, they have not thought about my point of view or what will appeal to me. For instance, it is much better to start with 'you' rather than 'we' and they have not given me any reason to value their service - telling me they do a quality printing job would be a minimum in my eyes!

An improved version would be: (without changing the meaning)

We are a full-colour printing company and want to invite you to sell our services for us. Currently our services include business cards, flyers, brochures, etc. which we believe matches with your services.

A more effective version would be:

You currently provide business services relating to brochures, flyers, business cards, etc. We provide quality printing services, in full colour of course, and would like to invite you to be a reseller of our services to assist your clients.


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2011, Tash Hughes