FYI. We need to touch base and reach out. Basically, it’s time to jump off the cliché bandwagon and throw off the shackles of the over-used and not so trendy buzzwords that are swallowing up professional services firms…
We’ve been burning the candle at both ends and thinking outside the box to find inspiration for this blog. At the end of the day, it’s time to break down the silos and take it to the next level as we’re all in the same boat. We are all agents of change so we must be solutions driven and hit the ground running. We must bite the bullet and call it a day on meaningless, up-to-the-minute buzzwords.
If you want your website, brochure or LinkedIn profile to be different, here are 5 professional services clichés that you should avoid:
If you were to read the websites of accountants and lawyers you would begin to believe that professional services was THE most passionate industry out there. But, just saying it doesn’t make it true. Being passionate about your work and your clients is a wonderful thing, but it’s one of those words that you shouldn’t need to say. People should sense your passion - it should smack them between the eyes. And please, please, please stop saying that you’re passionate if when you speak to me you sound as if you would rather be doing anything else, anywhere else with anyone else.
And as for integrity; it seems very strange that you would ever have to point that out, but I suppose that we must thank the Lord that you are not unscrupulous and immoral. Surely no self-respecting professional would need to say, ‘We don’t lie, cheat or steal,’ would they?
So many firms claim to be forward thinking and innovative and yet if it takes your firm days, weeks or (heaven forbid) months to make a decision and by the time you get round to it, the world has moved on and your ideas are dead in the water…then maybe you should reassess your definition of ‘innovation’! Have you ever invented something new that has made the world sit up and take notice? Furthermore, when you look carefully at your website, if your messages are actually staid, dull and far from innovative then maybe you should change them?
Proactive and responsive
Of course you are prepared to anticipate changes in the market, but surely that is just part of your job so that you know what’s going on? But I suppose it is a relief to realise that you won’t just sit back and twiddle your thumbs. It’s also good to know that you will respond quickly to calls and emails. After all, no one wants a disinterested sloth as their accountant or lawyer, do they?
Do your clients know what this really means? More importantly, do clients assume that this will mean that the partners will be all over them? Doesn’t that just mean astronomical bills? Partner-led service might be a positive but if you can’t explain the benefits, then don’t say it at all.
So - my challenge to you is to look again at your website or your LinkedIn profile and make sure that you say what you mean and mean what you say!
GetVoIP recently used Google’s Ngram Viewer tool to make a list of the most annoying clichés and how much their use has increased (not to say exploded) since they first appeared in print. Ten of the most irksome, in Yonatan’s view, and by what percentage they’ve proliferated: Take to the next level 3, 714% Bring to the table 1,738% Take offline 1,579% Knowledge transfer, 1,077% Low-hanging fruit, 955% Hit the ground running, 578% Get one’s ducks in a row, 485% Empower, 411% Fast-track (as a verb), 360% Game-changing (or changer), 341%