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Today in IndustrialSage Episode 113, we answer Georgia’s question about the best way to communicate engineering jargon in layman’s terms for content.
Hey, so, for today’s episode we’re going to talk about how to write when you have a lot of technical information, and how to extract that information from your team if you’re not from the industry. So you don’t want to miss out on today’s episode.
For the episode we have today, we have a great question that came in from a subscriber, from Georgia. This is Georgia’s question, and she says, “I’m new to the manufacturing industry and I would like to know how to deal with heavy and technical information when producing flyers, blogs, and updates in the website. Not everyone understands technical language used by engineers, so what is the best way to get the process across in layman’s terms?”
Okay, so that’s a really good question. And I think there’s a couple different ways to go about it. The first thing that we have to go back to is if you understand A, first of all, who is the audience that we’re writing for.
So a lot of times, what can be really challenging is, if you are selling to other engineers, and that’s really sort of the approach that you’re going, that’s the buyer, then that’s one approach. But if you’ve got engineers who are heavily involved in the sales and marketing process, and you are selling to non-other engineers or downstream, that’s where that’s sort of another approach. That’s, you can run into that that can be really really really tricky. So let’s talk about the whole sort of layman’s terms and how to do that.
A really great tactic on how to do that is to, and you know this kind of goes back to how to create your content to begin with, is really figure out what those sales questions are, those FAQs, the frequently asked questions that you could ask the salesperson. So, buddy up with the sales team, if you can, go spend some time with them, and ideally, interview them. You interview them on video, or interview them in person and just ask, “Okay, what are the what are the difficult or what are the number one questions that get asked in the sales process?” And just ask them questions. And just keep drilling down, deeper and deeper until you get the answer.
So if they come in and they give you an answer that’s super technical and you’re like, “Listen, I don’t understand what that means, talk to me like I’m in kindergarten. That’s how I want you to explain it to me.”
And that’s a really great technique to do that, especially if you are going to be really talking to a non-technical audience, because if you’re kind of going through that, then your audience likely is going to kind of go through that. Your customers, your prospects are going to be thinking the same thing, scratching their head saying “I don’t know what in the heck these guys are talking about.” Because their product knowledge is up here, and your engineer’s in the weeds, and they love the product, how it works, and this and that. They’re talking at a whole other level, it’s a completely different language to be honest with you, and if that language is not spoken and understood by the buyer or the influencers who are going to either champion that decision to buy that product, or service, then it’s a lost cause.
And I remember running into this, I can’t say how many times. When you’re creating content, or you’re doing videos or what have you, and there’s a real big challenge. People get really excited, they want to get into the weeds and technically, “No, but this is how it works, and, here’s all the buttons, and here’s all the different things,” and the reality of it is, maybe your end user, the person you’re selling to, doesn’t really care about how that works. They just care about the results.
And don’t get me wrong, it’s kind of a blanket statement and somewhere down the line, you’re going to have to get into the weeds. It’s going to have to be fairly technical. So, having webinars and different things you can use that are going to be a little more bottom of funnel or maybe middle of funnel, where you can get into the weeds. Use it there. But top of the funnel, again, if you’re not talking engineer to engineer, you’re talking at a completely different level, then you don’t get into the weeds. We’re going to start that conversation at a higher level.
So, sit down with them. Interview them. Ask them, tell them to walk you through this like you’re in kindergarten. Again, because your audience, if they’re not technical, that’s the same thing. So, your job is to be able to help to translate that and to really be an interpreter, if you will.
So you really have to kind of… it’s a difficult thing, it’s a challenging thing and I’m not sure what industry you’re from, maybe we can circle back and get some more information about that, but that would be certainly helpful.
Now let’s talk about if you are talking technical to technical. If you’ve got technical language and look, here’s the thing, you’re not going to be a subject matter expert on this overnight. It’s not going to happen. It’s going to take time.
So, what I would do is, it’s going to take a little bit longer to be able to create content for this. You’re going to do what I sort of suggest in terms of sitting down to really get a deep understanding so that for a fundamental level, so you can kind of understand what is going on, so that you can write that content, create those flyers. And then you’re going to need to work with somebody on your sales team, or whether, hopefully, you may be in technical sales…or just depending on how your organization is structured, who could help to sort of retranslate that back into technical speak.
Do your absolute best but yeah. I totally get it, that is definitely a challenge if you are writing and you don’t have a technical background, but you are writing to a technical audience, because it’s literally like writing in a different language.
I mean, how would you write if you don’t speak Spanish and you need to write something in Spanish? Start it in your language, and then work with somebody to help to be able translate it and sort of massage it. That’s what I would do in those instances.
So, it’s a really great question, hopefully I was able to answer that for you, but there are some great things. So really, number one is just sit down, if you really can, if you can just spend some time with the sales team to really get an understanding, I mean if you can go and visit some of the facilities, if you’ve got a particular product that you’re selling, go on customer visits. Spend a week with the sales team, if your company will allow you to do that, to really immerse yourself in the industry, to be able to get an understanding, and ask questions.
Ask lots and lots of questions, and obviously certainly Google, and look up all these different things to really educate yourself about what is going on. But I think sitting down there, immersing yourself, seeing everything, asking those questions, sitting down with the team, doing that interview… sSay, “Hey, pretend that I’m in kindergarten.” Just try to pull that information, and just to have that conversation, is really going to go a long way. And it’s really going to work in either instance.
So, that’s all I’ve got for today, short little episode today, but great question Georgia, thank you so much for asking that. If you have a question you’d like to ask that you’d like us to answer on the show, please write in. We would do this all day long. You can send it to IndustrialSage.com/Questions, and we’ll answer it for you on the show.
If you are listening on any of the podcasting stations: listen, we’d love a review. If you’re not on our email list, you need to get on that, we’ve got a lot of really great stuff that’s coming down the pipe, a lot of other content that you’re not getting access to on the podcast. So, that’s all I’ve got for you today, thanks so much for listening and or watching, and I’ll catch you next week on IndustrialSage.
(Looking for this episode’s blog article? Read it here!)
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