I know my platform is usually presentations but sometimes a communication comes along that is so bad, it earns a mention in its own right. This is one such communication.
I am a partner in a business that massively increases the effectiveness of your LinkedIn marketing, its called Let’s Linkin and my business partner and the CEO, Darrell Weekes, recently received the following connection request (whitewashed to protect the guilty party):
Reaching out from (company name) — Our platform enables you to place ads across billions of digital properties AND on Connected TV – we have lots of Australia-specific inventory! Are you currently running any programmatic ads? Would love to connect for a platform demo!
Hopefully, you already have a pretty good idea of where this goes wrong, but why don’t we break this down in detail:
Hi Darrell, Well, at least he got this bit right
Reaching out Avoid this type of language…what will he “circle back” later? This is rubbish “corporate speak”, don’t use it. Its an attempt to sound sincere and personal (reaching usually involves touching and touching someone lives in the domain of personal) but these days it just makes you sound like a wanker
from (company name) Who cares what your company name is unless it’s a well-recognised name (it wasn’t)! Hit me up with something that is important to me, helping me deal with my issues and challenges. Give me a reason to keep reading, and I can tell you, you aren’t the reason.
Our platform enables you to place ads across billions of digital properties What’s a digital property? There are billions of them out there and I haven’t noticed them? Where have I been? This is industry jargon, never, ever use industry jargon to people who aren’t in the industry because again, you just sound like a wanker.
AND on Connected TV Wow, really…what’s Connected TV exactly? With “AND” in capitals, so that must be something special, obviously. Still a wanker here…
Halfway through your message and it’s all about you. Unless I am familiar with these terms, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about or how you can help me. More than likely I will finish reading at this point, unless I am so piqued by your mystery, I drag myself further through your message to get some resolution of my dilemma: who is this guy what exactly does he do?
we have lots of Australia-specific inventory! Inventory of what, exactly? You have an over stocking stock issue of some kind you want to offer me something cheap? I still don’t know what, though.
Are you currently running any programmatic ads? I don’t know…what is a programmatic ad?
Would love to connect for a platform demo! I’m sure you would so you can earn a commission or keep your job…which must be seriously under threat if this is your customer communication. I made it to the end and I still don’t know what you do, what you sell and what’s in it for me, what it costs or that it’s even relevant to me. Why would I want a demo? If I did, how long would it take, what would I learn?
I am a passionate advocate for what I call “Audience Focussed Communication”: messaging that exists for the recipient, not for the sender. It still amazes me sales communication like this still exists.
Whether you are doing a presentation, an email, a LinkedIn connection request or any communication, it must be written from the aspect of what is important to the recipient, why would they want to keep reading and why would they want to have a demo. It shouldn’t be all about you!
The “Why” is the most omitted part of most communication but it is the most important aspect. Make sure you deliver that in a clear, effective way that, well, doesn’t make you sound like a wanker.