Business writing has lost its finesse. Gone is the subtle approach to informing/persuading/motivating readers. Lost is the ability to address difficult situations. Most writers dash off an email or text without thinking through how best to actually “reach” that reader.
The result? We are not exercising one of our best trump cards in a very competitive business game – the ability to achieve success with writing finesse. As you examine your approach to written communications, reprioritize:
- Relationship-building. Convey information the reader needs in terms that meet his goals. If your writing is all about “what I want” as opposed to “what do you need?” you are pushing the reader away.
If you write to your agenda – “we offer this,” “our company provides,” “I am interested,” the reader has no motivation to keep reading. Instead, build the relationship by addressing the reader’s needs. An “Are you interested in” or “You are focused on” will grab and keep that reader reading.
- Readability. Be concise. Keep your words, your sentences, your paragraphs short so they can be easily digested. Concisely-written emails, letters, even executive summaries will generate more thorough responses.
Why? Because we have so much to read. Shorten your message but give the reader what she needs to make a decision. That quickly sent, off-the-top-of-the-head message typically leads to unnecessary follow-on clarifications. Compare that to the writer who pauses to consider what needs to be accomplished, e.g., What information does the reader need? What details do you want to get back? It is those messages that elicit more thorough – and fewer!—responses.
- Tone. Be courteous and respectful. Those short barks of information often cut the reader off at the knees. Make even difficult messages easier to read by using the right style and tone.
We work with people we like. We do business with those with whom we have chemistry. An abrupt text or email can easily turn the reader off – and propel him towards someone who can provide the same service you can.
That written communications may be the only form of communications you have with the reader. A poorly written letter, email, text, executive summary or PowerPoint can turn the reader off and curtail your ability to do business. Writing with finesse can lead to business success.
To develop writing skills that differentiate you, click here to purchase the Better Business Writing workbook.Business Writing, Communications Cues, Email Effectiveness, Relationship-Driven, Results-oriented, Writing