Producing Results Blog

Are You Speaking Your Customer’s Language?

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Here’s a quick quiz for you. If you want to have a great conversation with someone who speaks only Italian, and you speak both English and Italian, which language are you going to choose? If you said “Italian,” congratulations! You understand how communication works! Why then is it so often a different story when we want to have a great conversation with our customers?

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I recently returned from a speaking engagement in Schaumburg, IL, just outside of Chicago. The event was held at the Renaissance Convention Center Hotel. It seemed like a typical, nice, convention hotel—the same as any other typical, nice, convention hotel. Until that is, I looked at the hotel map.

Now, most hotels name their ballrooms things like: Ballroom A, Ballroom C, or, maybe, if they’re feeling particularly adventurous, the Michigan Ballroom. Want to know what the Renaissance calls one of their ballrooms?

The Utopia Ballroom. Another one is called the Nirvana Ballroom.

The Renaissance has three main exhibit halls. They’re called Adventure Hall, Discovery Hall, and Exploration Hall.

Their meeting rooms have names like: Journey, Innovation, Connection, Euphoria, Prosperity, Knowledge, and Creation.

“So what?” you might say. “They’re just words. The rooms themselves are probably pretty typical.” Okay, first of all, I mourn your apparently departed sense of fun. And second, yes, the rooms themselves are pretty typical. Aside from the names, there’s nothing all that special about them.

But let me ask you: if you’re getting married, would you rather hold your reception in Ballroom C—or in the Utopia Ballroom?

If you’re getting together with your team for a brainstorming session, would you rather hold that session in the East Meeting Room—or in the Innovation Room? Or the Epiphany Room? Or maybe even the Perfection Boardroom?

See, the Renaissance Schaumburg knows who their customers are, and they are speaking their language. They know that the people who hold wedding receptions or business meetings in their hotel are focused on the future. These are people who are hoping to create something, to build something. They are aspirational, and the names of the meeting spaces reflect those aspirations.

By speaking their customer’s language, the Renaissance Schaumburg is supporting their customers in creating their future.

Yes, they are just words. But words have power. Anything that’s ever been created started with the word. And when you speak the same words your customers speak, it shows that you’re aligned with their vision.

Words have power. Anything that’s ever been created started with the word. #creativity Click To Tweet When you speak the same words your customers speak, it shows you’re aligned with their vision. Click To Tweet

If you want to have a great conversation with someone who speaks only Italian, you speak Italian, not English.

Think about that the next time you want to have a great conversation with your customer.

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About the Author:

For 15 years, Executive Producer Bill Stainton, CSP led his team to more than 100 Emmy Awards and 10 straight years of #1 ratings. Today Bill helps leaders achieve those kinds of results--in THEIR world and with THEIR teams.
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