Are people picking up what you're putting down?

A few weeks ago, I was at the store doing our weekly grocery shopping. I saw a beautiful display of flowers with a sign that said,

Roses + Astras
$4.99

So I grabbed a bunch of the flowers that were sitting behind the sign and thought about the excellent deal I was about to get on a really stunning bunch of flowers. When I got to the checkout, the cashier rang up the total on the flowers. Instead of the $4.99 the sign had promised, they were $7.99.

When I mentioned the sign that was directly in front of the flowers, I was told it wasn't for those roses, but for a different bunch of roses. When I provided feedback that the sign was misleading, I was met with annoyance and an attitude that the issue was on my end for not understanding what they meant.

I left feeling frustrated and let down.


It also made me question whether I really needed those flowers and whether I wanted to continue shopping in that store. And while I'll likely go back, I won't be forgetting the sour taste that interaction left behind. All because of a $3 misunderstanding.

That same afternoon, The Toddler had an epic meltdown. It was nap time and she had requested Snuggles With Mama before laying down. I was more than happy to oblige, and hunkered down in her rocking chair to commence cuddle-time.

As soon as we sat down, she began screaming and pushing me away. And continued for about 5 minutes until I finally got her to tell me what was wrong. She pointed to mama's room and said SNUGGLES emphatically.

What she had wanted was to snuggle in mama's bed and then fall asleep together.  What I heard was snuggles in the chair like we always do before laying down in her crib for her nap.

Same word, different meaning.

In both cases, the intended message (roses + snuggles) was being misinterpreted. And that was causing friction and frustration for both parties.


What if something like this were happening in your business?

You think you're being direct (and clever, and playful) when talking about all of the amazing things that you do, only to find out that your customers simply aren't getting it. They are making assumptions based on the information put in front of them, and those assumptions are wrong.

Clues that this is happening:

  • Clients are expressing frustration or a need for clarification.
  • People aren't pulling the trigger and buying.
  • You are spending a LOT of time explaining what you're really offering and/or how it will benefit others.

The good news is, you can always clarify and refine your message.

You can take the constructive feedback you are being given and apply it to your marketing. If it feels like crickets are chirping, you can always reach out to a select group of individuals whose opinions you value and ask for feedback about where you can be more clear.

Your turn!


What are your proverbial roses + snuggles? Where in your business could you stand to be a bit more clear or blatantly obvious?

Let us know in the comments below.

And if you'd like a little feedback, leave a link and we'll take a look.

X+O,
Emily
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