Beware the Written Word
No blog pointing out the power of the written word would be complete without quoting Shakespeare: “The pen is mightier than the sword.”
Okay, now that we have that out of the way…
My Short Attention Span Sales Tip last week talked about how the intonation of the spoken word is important to consider, since how you say what you say can add new— and sometimes unintended— meaning. Therefore, you need to make certain you truly mean what you say. A discrepancy will be apparent to all but the most blunt-headed of us who aren’t paying attention.
And while I am getting all “middle school English teacher” on you, I want to point out one other thing: Be careful what you commit to writing.
The written word is far more powerful than the spoken word. I remember an early sales lesson when my sales manager said, “Never write anything down you wouldn’t want the customer to see.” This is true, in part, because of the assumptions people can make as they bring their own interpretation to your words.
On the other hand, perhaps you want to bring more power to a statement you are trying to make. In that case, putting something in writing is exactly the right thing to do. Compared to picking up the phone and having a direct conversation, the written word can deliver a stronger message.
The overall point is to be cognizant of the choices you are making when it comes to communication. Or, as Shakespeare once said, “If you don’t write good, call. But don’t be blowing up my phone.”