Central bankers. Not a species deserving esteem aplenty. Just like their commercial bankster compadres. Yet this past week one of them has railed against over-complex language.
Not only does he call it out as unnecessary, he correctly labels it as mostly unreadable.
Apparently there was one Bank of England missive cited featuring an oxygen depriving 77 word sentence.
The media delighted in presenting collages from offender-in-chief Mark Carney. Slice after slice of incomprehensible nonsense.
The resulting blog post suggests Dr Seuss’ Cat in the Hat as the aim. Deliberately crafted from only 236 available words.
Ten million copies sold later a standout clear language standard.
So how about applying an accessible test to your own latest Prop. Or any written comms to your prospect in fact.
The basics are sound. Themes go back at least to Orwell.
Short sentences (25 words appears the max limit, 14 the ideal ‘average’). As few instances of polysyllabics as possible. Cut the jargon. Have a point.
There’s a couple of further factors with a Sales doc.
There’s the distinct trend for business messaging to resemble a present-day half-tweet. Often maintaining the tone of a dismissive 90s web-forum one-liner. I entitled this arena ’emails’, yet even they appear a dying breed. Corporate and personal messaging seems unstoppable.
Gone are the days when you’d sweat for over an hour typing a two-page-plus note and expect it to get read. Even though successful selling still requires the occasional detailed document.
Don’t feel that you can’t buck a trend. A thorough, essay-length item can be – and when done properly certainly is – a significant qualification tool. Read and engaged with (or otherwise), and you know where your prospect sits with you.
In any case, it’s unlikely you’ll present this as unbroken prose. But do bear in mind you ought not supply long lists of bullets either.
Does a picture speak a thousand words? Surely a slide can pitch the cut-through reason to act now.
If it is duly so that buyers are only scanning what you send, rendering three-quarters of your work sterile, then how about a diagram? Or succession of them. Can you tell the tale in a series of pics, tables, charts, graphs or drawings?
These work tremendously well as summary or guide docs. Pre- or post-meet set-ups for the next action. And to get your point in “a sentence” alone could well be the difference on that year-crowning bid.