Great Intent—Terrible Delivery

November 8th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

Last weekend I was in Dallas Texas lecturing on the book. As I was racing home I was very excited to see my family–most specifically I was looking forward to spending some time with my beautiful wife.

As we frequently do when I’m traveling, my wife and I exchange texts back and forth. Just as I was getting on the airplane and the stewardess was scurrying us along and rushing us to shut down our cell phones so we could have an on-time departure, I quickly sent this final text to my wife, “Loving my wife.”

I thought, what a fitting way to send a message before I departed for home. I pressed send and didn’t think anything about it. I sent the message, shut down my phone, buckled up, had a productive flight working on some things, read a little bit of a book—it was great.

When we landed back in Salt Lake City, I turned my phone back on and…bop, bop, bop, bop, goes the phone. It delivered a whole sequence of text messages from my wife. I looked down in dismay to see that my wife was slightly ruffled.

When I had sent the text, “loving my wife”. The autocorrect had interpreted it to say, “leaving my wife”, not loving my wife.

Of course my wife knows I’m totally committed and I’d never leave her so we got a bit of a chuckle out of it. But I thought, how frequently in our businesses we have good intent, but we’re very sloppy on the communication and the delivery of our messages–specifically on our elevator pitch, or what we call our catalyzing statements, or the emotional fuel for our businesses.

In the elevator pitch, you only get one chance to tell someone about your business. You have just one sentence to get their interest. Anytime someone asks what you do, and you go on for 5-minutes, you’ve lost them. You’ve got to able to quickly and concisely drop them a snippet and capture their attention.
My experience is that more often than not we have very good intent, but very poor delivery. If there’s one place that you could use a marketing expert or someone to really craft your message–it’s on that elevator pitch, or in those really critical communication deliveries. Certainly you don’t want to convey a missed message, as I did.

Zig Zag, communicate effectively, and have a great life.

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