This post is about cans. We’re not talking about trash cans, empty tin cans, cans of soda, or a can or two of beans. We’re writing about the problem with the word “can” when it is preceded with the wrong word.
For example, people often say “you can” when they really mean to say “it can.” If you’re not yet a master website builder, for example, you know what happens when you enter a discussion group for using and building WordPress websites. People in the discussion group are quick on the draw, with the latest WordPress release “you” can do with this amazing latest upgrade.
So, you finally decide to take a chance. What “can it” hurt. You purchase a website subscription service from a company rep in the discussion group you frequent, providing all the bells and whistles you’ll ever need in a WordPress website. As you begin to unbundle the files, you begin to wonder what “can” I really do. You can’t do it – why you can’t get it to do all the amazing things as promised.
If the company rep promised all “it can” do, your level of expectation might not have been so high and your disappointment, so considerable.
So, because “you can” is used so often in real life, and you really can’t, instead of celebrating new web technology, you are frustrated, angry, and feel more than a little taken.
Frustration begins to set in.
Even if “it can” can leave you feeling that you’ve been taken advantage of. You’re still left holding the bag.
What the rep probably should have said was “we can.” That is, “We can help you build the website. We can help you learn it. We can help you gain its maximum value.”
The same holds true in direct marketing. The more you facilitate your company’s customers’ full and complete utilization of your product, the more favored you can become to them as a valued provider of products and services.
Sure, people often seem to have more questions than you can answer. And not all companies are equipped to handle the volume of questions and inquiries. Think about the little ways “you can” begin to implement the “we can” strategy. Perhaps it’s simple online support, simple instructions, simple webinars, simple advice, or more use of social media. The key is to keep it simple and understandable from the customers’ point of view.
There is no better way to strengthen your customers’ reliance on you and solidify your relationship than when you say, “We can!”
So, what “can we” do for you?
There is another post we wrote earlier this year about word selection. Here’s the link to “one word not used correctly can sink a direct marketing message.”
Thanks for reading and please tell others, except your competition.
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