I have a problem with process! There, I’ve said it!
Don’t get me wrong, I love what it does, the results you can achieve through it…but the word itself chips a little piece off my soul – makes me think of bureaucracy, paperwork, jumping through hoops. My mind turns to ISO9001, Lean six sigma and the like – things that are so not me – words that turn me off probably as much as they do you.
I lost count of the number of times, I’d use the word ‘process’ at networking meetings,and see the shutters go down. I’d use the softer, more business-owner-friendly term, ‘systems’, and they’d think I was a techy, into software and IT. I used language that put me in a box that no-one wanted to open…’except in emergency’!
I labelled myself as a process person, even called my first book ‘Process to Profit’, when really, I’m a ‘making life easier’ person. Because the truth is – the only reason a process or a system exists is to make life easier for you, your team, your customers. There is no other reason for them.
In changing my language, I changed and grew my business. People ‘got it’. They saw what was in it for them – less work, not more.
In a similar way, a young bloke came up to me at the end of a seminar I was attending, and started talking to me about the similarities in what we did. He said he was all about helping business owners to grow their business without all the stress and the long hours; that he gave them the tools and the control that made their lives easier.
Turned out he was an accountant, but had realised the limitations of the label – the way the word would restrict the conversations he might otherwise have.
Words matter. They turn people on, or turn people off.
What words are you using that are limiting your conversations? How are you labelling yourself?
Do one thing: Think about the language you use to describe what you do. Make it about what’s in it for the person you’re talking to, and watch your opportunities grow.
Download an excerpt from Marianne’s book “Process to Profit’ – the label says Process, the content says ‘make your life easier’ :o)