It’s the way you tell ’em

Authored By Jon McKnight 

There used to be a comedian, long before most people reading this were born, called Frank Carson. 

Northern Irish and irreverent, his catchphrase was “It’s the way I tell ’em” – an acknowledgement that, while his jokes might have been older than he was, on occasions, the pleasure came from the way he delivered them. 

And so it is when you’re writing your website, your marketing materials, or your social media platforms: the way you word your message and the tone you adopt can be almost as important as the message itself. 

You can state what you want to say in bald facts, of course, but, just as bald cats aren’t generally cooed over as much as Persians, your audience may want those facts dressed up a little with a bit of fluff here and there for theatrical effect. 

There’s a famous saying in marketing – sell the sizzle, not the sausage – and it applies to all in business whose sausages, more or less, are pretty much the same as anyone else’s. 

You can buy an all-day breakfast at a cafe not far from Piccadilly for a fiver – and jolly nice it is, too – or you can pay about 10 times as much for more or less the same plateful at The Ritz. 

The fact that people are willing to pay £50 at The Ritz rather than a fiver just down the road is because breakfast at The Ritz is served by liveried waiting staff in the most glamorous surroundings in England rather than plonked on a pitted plastic tablecloth by someone who’s just returned from his fag-break, still shedding the aroma of a Woodbine. 

So, ask yourself what distinguishes or differentiates your business and its services or products from those of your rivals. That’s what your potential clients will want to know. 

And if you’re still not sure, ask a marketing agency (I know one!) to spend some time helping you identify what makes your business tick and what will make it stick in the mind of your chosen audience. 

If you can write like a dream, address readers of your website and marketing materials as “you”, think yourself into their shoes, and imagine all the reservations you might have if you were them instead of you. Then dispel those reservations with clarity and reassurances. 

That’s the way to their hearts, and wallets, and you’ll find your efforts reap far better rewards than if you’d simply tried to sell them the sausages without that sizzle. 

It’s the way you sell ’em.