Like most die-hard Harry Potter fans, I’ll admit that I was in the audience opening night for the final movie in the series a couple of weeks ago, along with a few friends, some of whom admitted they’d never read any of the books nor seen any of the movies.
While standing in line for tickets and talking about our favorite moments from the books, I noticed one of the guys in our group had a perplexed look on his face, and I asked him what was wrong. He looked at me funny and said “I don’t understand a word you’re saying. What are pensieves and muggles and horcruxes? Maybe I’ll go see another movie.”
This brought to mind a conversation I’d had earlier the same day with a client who was putting together a new direct mail campaign for a great new product the company was introducing, which was going to make leaps and bounds in the area of home energy efficiency. Projections estimated that revenues would jump by at least double digits, and the company had invested thousands of dollars into a multi-channel marketing campaign. However, listening to the client talk about R-values, thermo-resistance thresholds, and topside truss vs bottomside chord placements, I was completely lost… and most purchasers would have been too.
Whether selling wizard movies or weatherstripping, overloading consumers with too much jargon creates a double barrier to sales conversion – first, you must educate the client, and only then can you convince them to buy. Instead, consider focusing on the outcomes the client can expect – in the case of my client, simply explaining that the product could decrease energy bills by up to 15% was enough.
And in the case of my friend watching HP, we convinced him he’d enjoy the story of the movie, even if he was a complete Squib.