Stop Speaking Geek

by Victor Lund on June 4, 2018

If you have traveled abroad, you have undoubtedly experienced the discomfort of communicating in a foreign language. I can tell you that in hotel speak, a salon is not a suite. The language barrier can create all kinds of misunderstandings. Where I see this happening frequently in real estate is the amount of geek speak that is in the board room.

Technologists can be absolute wizards, aggregation, systems integration, APIs, Wizzy-WIG (WYSIWYG). CSS, CMS, SSO, oAuth, SEO, behavior workflows, AI, RAID, CRUD, REST, UI, and the like. These are all great words that are critical to the business function in any company today, but for the most part, it’s just geek speak to members of the C-Suite and Board of Directors.

As a Chief Technology Officer or technology vendor, speak to the C-Suite and Board of Directors in terms they understand.

“This strategy will drive revenue”

“This change will save costs and drive operating margin”

“This capability will deliver a more competitive functionality for recruiting”

“This design will create a differentiated experience that will attract more customers”

“This feature will increase sales productivity”

“This has the potential of reducing risk in the business”

“This will deliver greater reporting for managers to hit their targets”

No doubt, there is a place for geek speak. If you are a technology vendor that is demonstrating your capabilities to a potential client, you may want to bifurcate your system presentations. Fundamentally, you need to impress your client with your deep technical acumen and architecture to the technologist and/or consultant of your prospect. In a separate meeting, you can review the operational capabilities from a user perspective and focus on the agent and customer experience when they are interacting with your technology. Trying to do both in the same meeting to a group that has significantly different levels of technology understanding could position you to under-serve one group or the other. If you are too focused on technology, you may not communicate effectively to marketing and sales. If you are too focused on design and utility, you may miss the opportunity to allow the technologists to appreciate the architecture and flexibility of your database and code development.

If you speak to others in terms that they understand, you will shine the best possible light on the effectiveness of your efforts.

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