When it’s too complicated to explain

When it’s too complicated to explain

“It’s complicated” is the death-knell of sales and business development. Whether concepts are conveyed in person, on the phone, or passively by looking at a website or reading marketing information, complicated ideas fail to connect far more often than they create interest. Even if your innovative new product or service concept does capture attention, if it’s complicated to explain or to understand, it won’t scale. You’ll stay stuck in early adopter phase.

Crossing the chasm requires clear and engaging communication.

My first rule of communication is: simple is best, complicated is bad. If that sounds simplistic, it’s not. Crystallizing new and/or complex ideas, products, and services into concise explanations that land and stick on intended audiences is no small feat. It is the most valuable, foundational investment a company can make to ensure success.

Minimize refraction

Think of a message as a beam of light. The goal is to minimize refraction when that beam contacts an intended target – in this case, an audience. Even in the best case, refraction occurs as the message is processed, interpreted, and shared by others. The more complicated, wordy, and convoluted the original message is, the greater the refraction: received messages can be delayed, distorted, redirected, or can completely miss their mark.

Simple, concise, and well-aimed messages are more likely to land and be received as intended.

But our widget is really complex…

Your offering may be very innovative, full of ground-breaking technology or complex inter-relationships between several elements. But that’s not how it needs to be communicated.

The first step to effectively communicating about complicated things is to turn away from the thing and toward the audience.

An effective writing process is one means of honing precise, well-targeted messages. A good writing process includes methods and tools for:

  • Creative generation of ideas
  • Insight into and empathy for intended audiences
  • Aligning agendas with target audience perspectives
  • Focusing key messages to engage audiences and generate specific results

Thinking and listening as a writer hones skills that every leader in business, marketing, and sales needs.

  • For organizations who need support clarifying their core messages, Phrase Strategy offers the Essential Story
  • For leaders who wish to develop these and other key skills for leadership and communication, we offer the Essential Voice Program.

Essential Story and Essential Voice are complementary programs that create exceptional alignment between an organizations’ story and the voice of its leadership. Please learn more on this website, or contact us to talk about creating simple, precisely targeted messages.