Use the “you” approach

Psychologists estimate that we spend fully 92 percent of our thinking time thinking about ourselves.

Put this fact to work for you in your business communications. Highlight other people’s wants, needs, interests and desires. Nothing, but nothing, is so geared to rivet their attention on what you are telling them as this “you” approach.

Don’t say: “I’d like to tell you about a new production technique.”
Say: “If you’re like most production people, you’ll be interested in this brand new way to lower your manufacturing costs.”

Don’t say: “The enclosed catalog contains our whole story.”
Say: “You’ll find more than 100 new products described in the enclosed catalog.”

Don’t say: “It is hoped that the foregoing answers the questions raised.”
Say: “Should you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

Usually, it’s a simple matter of translating the I, me, or our approach into you terms. Obviously, it’s impossible to eliminate entirely the words I or me from a business letter of conversation. Nor is it desirable. It’s merely a matter of emphasis. As a rule of thumb, think in terms of the other person’s self-interest and the “you” approach will take care of itself.

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