The Pipeline Guest Post – Allen Peterson
A Buzzword Expert and His Interview
Business communications and messaging is critical. New business words and phrases are arriving each day, along with all of the popular business jargon and clichés. It’s confusing. Meanwhile, we are all communicating in more and more ways—email, voicemail, instant messaging, podcasts, videos, blogs, tweets and—occasionally—direct phone calls and face-to-face conversations.
Frank Langual, president and CEO of BuzzSpeak Associates, is the self-described leading expert on business buzzwords, catch phrases, clichés and general business jargon for salespeople and marketers too busy or unable to speak or write in plain English. “Business Best Practices” Editor Dick Dunbar recently interviewed Langual. Here is a copy of that phone interview.
Dunbar: Where do most of these words and phrases come from?
Langual: They’re in the ecosystem, blogosphere and many come from marketing. In fact, a new book with 6,000 alternate phrases for praise and acclaim is arriving soon. I’m excited.
D: Who do you actually consult to? Are you a copywriter or what?
L. My clients want the best integrated solution that will enable high-impact customer messaging, drive sales enablement, and result in measurable lifelong value.
D: So, do you help sales and marketing organizations?
L: Isn’t that what I just articulated in my verbalized value stream?
D: And how do you price your services?
L: I value price as high as possible.
D. What, exactly, is your value?
L. I provide language-rich communication content, delivered in a mission-critical format that transforms my clients into valued customer-centric organizations and industry leaders.
D: How do you differentiate yourself as a buzzword and cliché expert?
L: I have a content optimization model that is centered on descriptive phrases and constantly refreshed by new terminology. Also, I seldom use verbs, use a lot of H acronyms, and have a huge social network fan base.
D: What, exactly, are “H acronyms”?
L: Currently they are HDCP, HDLC, HDMI, HPET, HPNA, HTML, HTTP and H.264 and fifteen more with fewer letters. I’m always looking for more.
D: What about helping marketing deliver sales messaging that salespeople will actually use? Do you help assure message clarity and usefulness?
L: Marketing and I shouldn’t be constrained by clarity or persuasive focus as long as the language is rich. Besides, descriptive copy is more fun and a lot easier to write. Ask any marketer.
D: Let’s move to social networking. Would you explain what a social networking site is?
L: Quite simply, a “social network site” contains profiles, semi-persistent public commentary on the profile, and a traversable publicly articulated social network displayed in relation to the profile.
D: Isn’t there a simpler explanation?
L: Simplicity isn’t in my DNA.
D: Do you ever say things in plain English, so that people can actually comprehend what you are saying?
L: You have a result-driven mind-set that isn’t a strategic fit with my game plan.
D: Does that mean “no”?
D: Does THAT mean “no”?
L: Let’s take your issues offline.
D: Why can’t you just answer this basic question?
L: CLICK! Recorded message: Your call is very important to me. Please leave a message.
End of Interview
The Need: Clear, Persuasive Corporate and Sales Messaging
We all communicate a little like Frank Langual at times. Our jargon and buzzwords are natural to us. We
use them internally to communicate. But our prospects and customers are busy. They have easy access to
information about us, without us. They expect clarity. They expect responsive answers to their questions.
They have three key “Why Buy” questions that deal with need, differentiation, and urgency/value :
1. Why buy? (need)
2. Why buy your solution? (differentiation)
3. Why buy now? (urgency and value)
Corporate and sales messaging must be developed to answer these questions. This is hard work that
benefits from process. Usually, several iterations are required to drill-down to core substance that is crisp,
clear, personal, customer-aligned and provable.
Marketing and sales alignment is a widely acknowledged challenge for companies today. Ask almost any
sales organization what they need from marketing, besides the ongoing desire for more leads. They will say
that they want persuasive sales messaging that they can use. Unless and until marketing answers the Why
Buy questions in a clear and persuasive (NOT just descriptive) manner—sales must/will continue to do this
work—and the misalignment will continue.
About Allen Peterson
Allen Peterson is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), speaker, advisor and angel investor. He helps clients achieve rapid revenue growth by providing assistance with sales techniques/process, persuasion science and strategic planning.
Email: email@example.com; Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/RevenueDoctor; Website: http://www.strategicplanningalliance.com/about_us.html
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