I remember back to a trip to Switzerland where my wife and I stumbled upon a fantastic bakery. The owner of the bakery only spoke German and we only spoke English.

The simple act of trying to buy a pasty was confusing, but the little old lady was so sweet that we all had a good laugh about it. In the end, we were able to pay and eat the pastry that had caught our eyes.

A friend of mine just returned from Peru where he shared a similar story. He was trying to book a train ticket where the non-English speaking counter rep was pointing to a screen and trying to explain something that my friend couldn’t understand.

He said both the process and experiences were incredibly frustrating. The guy on the other end couldn’t care less. He yelled a few things, and then returned to watching his soccer game.

My friend said that nearly everywhere in Peru he experienced both extremes. Those who couldn’t be bothered to try and work through the language barrier, and those who did their best. The ones who did their best always offered a warm, meaningful, and genuine experience.

In business, we often make the mistake that believing everyone understands what we’re trying to say and do–including our customers.

I very often talk to my client’s clients, and I hear my clients being described in much more positive and impactful ways than they describe themselves!

Sometimes, it’s like they’re talking two different languages.

Are you speaking to your prospects and clients in a way that resonates with them?

The greatest successes in sales, marketing, and customer experiences always come from your clients feeling understood and vice-versa.

I think back to the lady in the bakery. It was difficult for us to communicate, but she still made us feel like she had our best interests in mind. It made the experience that much more powerful, and we were willing to do what needed to be done to complete the transaction.

Never underestimate the power of feeling understood.

What kind of stories are you telling your prospects in your sales and marketing efforts?

What kind of connections are you making?

How are you making them feel?

Do you have their best interests in mind?

Today’s Key Challenge:

Call three of your longest and most valuable customers/suppliers/partners and ask them this hypothetical question: If you were describing us to a friend, a peer, or a referral, how would you describe us?

Listen to the words they use.

Listen to the things they say.

If they describe you in vastly different ways than you describe yourself, you can almost guarantee your sales, marketing, and service efforts are being lost in translation.

I do this for many of my clients, and we learn so much from this experience. I’m happy to do it for you, but you can easily do this yourself. Let me know what you learn.