Jargons Lack Clarity And Should Be Avoided When Communicating
Updated: Sep 11
“Sell the problem you solve.” “Sell the internal pain points.” “Sell the problem, not the solution.” Is anyone going to address the elephant in the room? All industries have their own expressions. But, for the sake of helping someone understand you, it is best to avoid them when explaining technical things because they only create a state of confusion for the person listening or reading. How would you feel if you entered a pharmacy to purchase a box of Nuromol® ibuprofen and instead, received a box labeled “headache-getter”? As stupid as it sounds, it isn’t far fetched to think that “selling the problem” could look like that to someone DIY-ing a label who understands nothing about visual branding. Yes, people don’t buy ibuprofen to “get headaches”, they buy it to get rid of headaches. That’s what the earlier phrases were all saying, sell the solution to the problem you solve. Except, when it’s simply said like that, clarity emerges and DIY-ing anything takes a more effective approach. But, why not just say it like that in the first place? Insider-terms are also used to keep the things people need to pay for protected, while still sharing some information with the DIY-er. All families have unique ways they communicate with each other to keep secret things secret, right? So, the thinking behind using branded language to communicate with an ideal client is similar to someone using jargon: protection. The difference is, when one uses jargon to communicate, they’re sometimes trying to veil their lack of experience from an unsuspecting buyer. But instead, it ends up confusing and alienating the person because they’re unable to access the depth of what’s being “shared” enough to make an informed decision. That said, often without knowing it, people who use jargon to communicate will either end up speaking to themselves or at the very least, others like themselves.
If You Can’t Explain It To A 5 Year Old, You Don’t Understand What You’re Saying Yet!
A client of mine experienced this hurdle while attempting to connect with his ideal clients: they were longing for “variety and comfort” in their shoe choices. But he lacked clarity on what those words meant to them, and had to define the two. If he hadn’t, those words threatened his ability to convince them that he understood their situation and by extension, sell his solution.
We’re all customers or clients of a product or service, but it’s the feeling of being understood that influences our purchasing decisions: how do you get the audience to listen to what you have to say, and trust your approach. That’s the reasoning and meaning behind “selling the problem”, not that you’re “selling pain points” or “problems”. Why would someone purchase problems? Do you see the misunderstanding associated with industry terminology?
Anyone can regurgitate what they hear on YouTube or read on Google, but only someone doing the actual work can have the conversations that matter, removed from language barriers. If you’re providing a service and there are words or phrases that disconnect you from truly understanding who you serve, asking specific questions around the subject area and tracking what you find is one way of gaining clarity on what your clients are sharing with you.
Another way to achieve clarity is by injecting relatable stories capable of magnifying lessons you’ve learned into your copy. If you’re new to creating persuasive copy, doing this will be hard at first, but, the more you practice the first exercise, simplifying experiences you didn’t have words for will get easier. That was my experience testing taglines for the above-mentioned client’s website. “Put Frustration In Your Past By Stepping Into A Variety of Comfortable Dress Shoes” addresses the emotional state of his ideal clients and positions the conversation he wants to have with them, which, to this day produces an expected reaction without fail. Since working with me, he went from 2 clients to 17 in one year.
So, if you want your readers to connect with what you’re saying, and by extension send the right message about your expertise, avoid jargons when communicating.
I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB **Can you clearly communicate the value of what you do? Put it on a One-Page website! **Learn more about The One-Page here **Or, Sign up to receive these weekly articles in your inbox if you’re not quite ready to work with me yet. And please share my article if you liked it