Cutting to the Chase


I’ve always found that people love it when I cut to the chase and I must confess, I love it when other people do as well. What am I talking about? I’m talking about getting your point across quickly and succinctly so that people immediately know what you want and whether or not they can deliver it.

Of course not all conversations have to be this way. My friends and colleagues would think I was very mercenary if I handled all conversations that way! When I’ve got time I like nothing more than to shoot the breeze and engage in leisurely, enjoyable conversation with my friends, my family, the dog, myself… I’ve just reminded myself that I need to get out more! But when it comes to business, sometimes the less you say the better, especially if you are trying to sell something to somebody.

There’s no point waxing lyrical about your various ideas, useful tips and hints, products or services if you don’t get to the point quick enough. The potential for distraction in today’s digital age is massive so make sure you use your words and your time wisely.

The next 4 tips are useful when you are conducting a business conversation; let’s say on an important conference call, or whether you are putting together the copy for an email marketing campaign;

Think – what are you going to say that will add value?
Speed – how can I say it with the minimum of words and in a succinct fashion?
Listen – understand what others are saying, identify their needs
Impact – give the conversation meaning or provide a call to action

When you are seeking the attention of somebody that is important to you, i.e. a client or a senior colleague, they will love it if you cut to the chase, provide a headline of what you need from them, explain why it’s relevant and tell them what to do next. It will make their life far simpler and that is a precious commodity today.

OK, they may not always react in the way you would like them to, but they will keep listening to you or read what you have to say. At some point what you are saying will hit a need and that’s how business relationships start and it’s also how they flourish.

So remember, that old cliché of ‘less is more’ still holds true and something to keep at the forefront of your mind when you are composing a business communication.

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