Phrasing Is Important

“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”  How many times have you heard that old adage?  I consistently re-learn this.  After being on the trading floor for 25 years, my style of language is a lot different than a lot of people.  It’s not only because cuss words are subjects, predicates, nouns, prepositional phrases, modifiers, verbs, personal pronouns or any other part of traditional English language structure.  It’s because if you took more than a few seconds to make yourself clear, you lost money.  Traders spoke in 140 characters long before there was Twitter.  Emoji’s are like hand signals.

The thought on phrasing occurred to me several times over the past few days.

I first encountered it in the real world back in 2001.  Our house had been destroyed by water.  I was upset.  It was hard not to be emotional when you talked about it.  Whenever I spoke with the insurance person, nothing got done.  Whenever my friend who was in the insurance business spoke with the insurance person, everything got done exactly how we wanted it done.

The difference was the words that were used to convey the message.

I have had some email correspondence with an entrepreneur that I am not invested in but really like over the past few days.  We are talking about their project and basically discussing how to frame and the words to use to frame the project.  Those words will determine the target market and could exclude potential customers from coming into the market.

Another entrepreneur I know was working on a pitch.  We both thought that the initial way they were presenting their pitch was the way to go.  It clearly identified the pain point the customer was having.  It brought it home to the customer in a unique way.  The problem was this.  The customer most of the time didn’t realize the problem in this manner although they knew they had a problem. Instead of buying the customer became fearful and walked away.

Changing the way the product was talked about and presented to the customer changed the way they saw it and when you did that they were more likely to buy.

We get all charged up when we think about our business.  It’s important to take a step back and unemotionally think about the message that is delivered and how it’s received.   Instead of not having product market fit it might just be the words you use to describe the product you are selling.

The way you describe something might also change how big an idea is.  By changing the way you describe it the scope and scale might become a lot larger than you originally thought.  Maybe you can go for total world domination.

I know this is Marketing 101 or Advertising 101.  Sometimes it helps to really revisit those basic concepts and think about not only the “why” of what you do but how you phrase why you do what you do.