Using Client-Appropriate Language

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Flickr CC via LucasTheExperience

Based in Farmington Hills, MI, 2313 Inc. is devoted to the betterment of client relations and employee satisfaction. Check us out on LinkedIn.

Language is one of the most impactful things in the world. How we communicate to others is often the basis for first and lasting impressions, general sentiment, and even future opportunities. The specific words used to communicate with a client can make or break an account.

Of course, presentation is an incredibly important part of that. The tone and inflection used in both written and spoken language also have a large affect on how messages are perceived. Simply saying, “Let me check to see what’s causing this issue,” instead of “We did everything correctly, so the problem must be on your end,” makes a huge difference. While the core message (There’s a problem somewhere) remains the same in both situations, one implies that it is the client’s fault, while the other focuses on the problem and not on who is to blame.

Whether you are speaking to a client in a meeting, briefly over the phone, or through an email or report, remember these tips to better communicate:

Don’t Blame the Client

Even if it is very clear that the client did something wrong, it’s generally a bad plan to explicitly state blame. Use positive language when pointing out problems: “It looks like the address we have on record for you is _____. Could you provide me with the correct information?” Phrasing language in this way versus “The address you gave us is ___…” refrains from placing blame on anyone and instead focuses on the problem and how to solve it.

Keep it Simple

Just because a client is buying services or products from you, that doesn’t mean they know the language and jargon of the industry. Remember not to use industry jargon, instead using terms that are easily understandable by individuals both familiar and unfamiliar with the industry.

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Don’t Use Buzzwords

When talking with potential clients, refrain from using buzzwords or pretentious terms to make you or your product or services sound impressive and trendy. The product or services should stand up by themselves – so there is no need to rely on fancy words or phrases to boost their appeal.

Be Specific

While keeping things simple is important, it is equally important to be specific and not use general terms that don’t really mean anything. Use actual numbers, facts, and client testimonials whenever possible so that your client or potential client knows what they are getting into.

Stay Positive

Keep language positive, confident, and enthusiastic. The way words are presented to a client makes all of the difference. You may have the best presentation in the world memorized, but if you come across as not confident or bored, who will believe it? The best communicators understand stage presence and how to keep an audience rapt. The words themselves are a part of that, but how you present those words plays an immensely important role as well.

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