I am writing this blog from France, just below Paris. One of the Corona hotspots.
Last night, President Macron told us to stay inside for another month. This means that many French people are working at home
And now that we are all working at home during the corona crisis, the workload is probably not that high (of course I'm not talking about all the heroes who work hard in healthcare, hospitals, transportation, etc.).
But when we are rid of this lock down again, it is full steam ahead. And then you can use little time savers, right?
Why am I telling you this
A while ago I gave training at a company that had a very high workload. One of the issues was the amount of emails they received; about 60-80 mails per day (!). One of the ways to save time is to create legible and understandable texts. Because, if you have had technical training for example, chances are that writing texts was not part of your curriculum.
I had them do the following exercise.
Below you see 2 texts. I had a participant read the texts aloud and in the meantime I used a stopwatch to keep track of how long it took them. And what do you think? Reading the 1st text took 16 seconds longer. And now you probably think: so what? But what if you have to read 60 to 80 mails every day?
16 seconds x 80 mails = 1280 seconds
1280 seconds = 21 minutes
That is a nice time saver!
Try it yourself. Read the texts below and time yourself.
So you first read Text 1 aloud and use a stopwatch to time yourself. Then you read Text 2 aloud and time yourself.
Ready, set, go!
Mapping personal values
You already get a first impression of the client's personal values through the Life Areas and Value worksheet and the Analyze the Problem worksheet. Yet many clients find it difficult to explicitly name their values. They often have a good idea of what they find important in their lives, but it proves difficult to put it into words. That is why you can ask the following in-depth questions:
If I had a magic wand that would make sure that all the painful thoughts and feelings no longer affected you, what would you do or what would you like to do more often? What would you do less and what would you stop doing altogether? And what would others notice about you? How would you treat colleagues differently?
What were times when your life was most meaningful to you? Where you knew fulfillment and vitality, and a goal that you could fully support? What were you doing at the time, with whom, how, where, when? What made you feel that fulfillment? Why was it important to you?
What are you doing right now that doesn't match the person you really are deep inside? Who would you rather be? What would you like to do differently in your life? Why is that important to you?
Suppose you want to learn to deal better with problems in your life. What skills could you develop that help you be a better person too? Helping you to be more yourself? Or who help you to improve the lives of your loved ones? What skills would make your life more beautiful?
Mapping personal values
You already get a first impression of the personal values of the client through the Worksheet “Areas of life and values” and the Worksheet “Analyzing the problem”.
Yet many clients find it difficult to explicitly name their values.
They often have a good idea of what they find important in their lives, but it proves difficult to put it into words.
That is why you can ask the following in-depth questions:
And? How long have you spent on Text 1 and on Text 2?
A few more points:
• Isn’t it Annoying? Those typo’s; that why you cannot read quickly
• As you can see, I made a list in the 2nd text; that reads easier
• I have also made a few words bold; in doing so I direct the reader's attention to what I find important in this text
• Do you see how many white lines I made in the 2nd text? That is much easier on the eye and therefore reads easier (and faster).
And then this.
This is a text from one of my textbooks and hopefully you are not familiar with the subject. That is also the intention. I'm not going to make it too easy for you, of course.
But many of your customers may not understand your texts as well if you go into all technical aspects of your product / service.
Especially with writing an offer, the following rule plays an important role: sell the holiday, not the trip. When you work at a travel agency, you are actually selling a hotel room and a seat on an airplane, but you won't put that in the advertisement of course. No, the ad shows a nice picture of happy people on a sunny beach with a cocktail in their hands. It is the same with your product or service. You don't sell every nut on your machine, you are selling the dream.
Dear career tigers, hopefully this crisis will not last too long and we can get back to work quickly. And then we can again go: Full steam ahead !!
If you want to receive even more time saving tips via a blog like this, let us know at the bottom in the comments