Saying The Right Words to the Right People

Saying The Right Words to the Right People

Recently, I was catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in at least three years. He had seen a Brilliance Nugget on LinkedIn and we got into contact again. It was great to connect again and thought of saying the right words to the right people!

The friend is working as a consultant with a variety of companies. The last several companies were 50-80M in revenue. His approach to consulting is not only to analyze the company’s situation and write a report. He focuses on implementing the recommendations he makes. He and I share the mentality of “Let’s get the right things done and get measurable results!” He and I often have talked about our work, and we always have been there for each other. Everyone needs honest feedback to grow.

Listening to Feedback is the “Breakfast of Champions”

“The word “Brilliance” might be too flashy for the CEOs and C-suite people,” she said to me.
“The C-Suite people have no time. Just tell them what it is in plain English and what it does for them.”

There was his feedback. The word “Brilliance” might be too “flashy.” And the word “extraction” might remind someone of pulling teeth (?)

We discussed what other words one might use. We arrived at “knowledge retention.” Retaining their company’s critical knowledge. Wisdom, actually. Because as the saying goes, knowledge is knowledge, wisdom is knowing when to apply which knowledge.

It Takes a While to Find the Right Words to Say to the Right People

Here is the point of this Brilliance Nugget: We’ve got to say the right words to the right people. That is often not easy. It requires feedback from many people from different vantage points.

That way, we can tweak it and get it right. It is a journey, not an event. Getting feedback is ongoing. One is well advised to keep listening.

Listen – and Be Careful Not to Lose Your Uniqueness

Of course, you need to evaluate and test the feedback you are getting. Be careful it does not take you of course! You have to protect your vision. Too many cooks spoil the broth.

That said: What are the pain points you are addressing and for whom?

Defining the Key Benefit of a Solution to a Clear Pain Point

Let’s look at five common pain points as an example. The challenge is to define the key benefit to each pain point as clearly and quickly as possible.

  1. What does it cost you when a key employee suddenly is gone? How much knowledge/wisdom is lost?
    • We offer time- and money saving solutions for knowledge retention.
  2. How many resources does it take for your company to train new people or cross-train current employees?
    • We offer time- and money saving solutions for knowledge transfer.
  3. How much time do highly-paid employees spend on tasks that could be delegated if one had a safe way to do that?
    • We offer time- and money saving solutions for knowledge transfer.
  4. How effective is your company in explaining your product or service to your potential customers?
    • We offer revenue boosting solutions to educating your customers about what you do.
  5. Are you planning your succession? How dependent is the business on your knowledge and wisdom?
    • We offer time- and money saving solutions that make your succession successful.

The Result of This Exercise (a Work in Progress)

Now, let’s look at it all. What stands out?
We provide solutions for the retention and transfer of your company’s knowledge.

With those solutions, you can

  • Protect again brain drain,
  • Grow and scale up,
  • Delegate,
  • Educate your potential customers so they buy, and
  • Make succession go smoothly.

One more thought: The message has to be right for the person in front of you. A C-suite person leading a 50-100M company may – probably will – require a different message than an owner or C-suite leader of a 1-10M company. Larger companies may have a higher level of redundancy in their labor resources – although probably not in all areas. There may be more layers of management/leadership. So far, I have been more successful in situations when I can talk directly to the decision-maker.

I’m Curious

I’m curious about two things:

  1. Which of the words I’m using here make the most sense to you? Why?
  2. Reflecting on your journey of expressing what you do in a few words, what is your experience?
    • To what extent do you feel like you’ve “nailed” it?
    • What feedback are you getting?

Dr. Stephie

P.S.: I appreciate you commenting and sharing this with others. Thank you!

Stephie Althouse

I Love Your Comments

Please use the form below for private comments and the social links for public comments