Consultant speak. We all do it. Some more than others.
Defining projects as nominalisations … business transformation … blue sky thinking
or results as platitudes … strategy into action … creative collaboration
and tired claims about our practice … dynamic … focused … agile.
Sometimes the purpose behind these words and phrases is to impress, or to differentiate, or perhaps shorthand for a complex concept. But they don’t work very well. After all aren’t we all dynamic, focused consultants moving strategy into action with blue sky thinking and creative collaboration?
See what I mean?
These words and phrases are so overused that they simply drift through the client’s mind putting them into the ‘what the heck are they talking about’ trance.
They do nothing to arouse emotions, shift mindsets, or communicate the value clients desire. Worse still they are barriers to rapport, clarity and sales.
Clients won’t buy what isn’t clear.
Take a look though your emails, Powerpoint slides, website, and proposals. Look for the big fat consultancy words. Think. Rework each phrase into a proposition that clearly explains the value you wish to deliver. Here’s an example:
Business transformation. What is that?
Seriously what does it mean?
Clients want results and value. Increased revenue, improved market share, cutting costs, higher customer satisfaction … or the ability to do things differently. The point at which we nominalise these results into a phrase like Business Transformation we take one step away from communicating the value we might deliver in the client’s world. And that’s a pity.
So, how much consultancy speak do you use in your work? And how much are you willing to change that?
The bottom line:
Get real: Consultant speak masks your value.
Get prepared: Rework vague phrases into results and value.
Get savvy: Remember clients buy results and value, not buzzwords.
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