By Dawn Josephson
Most businesspeople have great ideas, but when it comes to putting those ideas on paper, they ramble on for pages and end up looking less than professional. In today’s communication age, with e-mail trumping the phone and deals being done via text and social media, writing skills are of paramount importance. When your writing gets to the point quickly and effectively, you enhance your credibility, position yourself as a leader, and ultimately increase your bottom line.
Following are the top three business writing mistakes. Overcome them today to boost your professional presence as an overhead door dealer.
Mistake No. 1: Not Knowing the Specifics of Your Audience
Just as you would tailor your message depending on whether it was going to employees versus prospects, you also need to tailor your message to specific demographics within the larger identified group. For example, if you’re writing promotional materials for your overhead door product or service, and the majority of your consumers are older, well-established professionals, you’ll want to highlight the safety features, reliability record or guarantee.
However, if your main consumers were younger Millennial types, you’d want to emphasize a trendy image, quick results or easy-to-use features. If you have an equal number of consumers in both demographics, then you may need two separate sales messages. One generic message rarely cuts it these days.
Therefore, before you write a word, really think about who will be reading what you write. Talk to their precise needs, issues or worries. Then craft your message specifically for them. The more you know your reader, the better you can reach them with your words.
Mistake No. 2: Writing to Impress Rather Than to Express
The more successful a person is, the more often he thinks big words and long documents impress people. In reality, the opposite is true. People who try to write with the hopes to impress others with their knowledge only accomplish one thing—they lose the reader.
To make sure you’re expressing rather than impressing, examine each piece you write and distill its core message or purpose down to one or two sentences. If you can’t do that, then either your writing is not focused or it’s too drawn-out. If that’s the case, go back to each paragraph within the document and try to condense each to one or two sentences. String those new sentences together, and then pinpoint the purpose, which will be your core message. Rewrite the document with the core message in mind, using common, everyday language. Try to explain your idea in such a way that a five-year-old can understand it.