Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vault Your Vernacular

Do you have a vault?

Before you answer - what do I mean by a vault?

I mean a shared electronic repository for memorable words, phrases, examples, stories, analogies or anecdotes that your salespeople use when talking to clients about your business and your firm. You have people who go into client meetings and tell killer stories, use sticky examples and analogies, give colorful anecdotes and speak with memorable words and phrases.

The sad part - most of it gets lost in the ozone. They only get shared and re-used within small circles of people inside the firm who have access to that person. All these spoken words are part of the fabric of your culture and corporate vernacular. They need to be preserved. Not simply as oral history, but as shared tools to help people connect with clients and burnish the brand.

I know there are corporate intranets with terabytes of shared information about your company and your business to educate employees. Most of it is about as exciting as an Excel tutorial.

First Step - Create a vault. It should be electronic and able to capture audio, video and text for future reuse.

Second Step - Appoint a vault keeper. Someone with passion for capturing and sharing information and the judgment to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Third Step - Create a secure user interface. It should be a cool webpage where your people can easily upload text, video or audio to the vault.

Fourth Step - Market it. Encourage everyone in your firm who touches clients to upload their best stuff into the vault. They can record it on audio or video or simply send it in as text.

Fifth Step - Share it. Make it securely available to client-facing people any way possible - Webcast, Podcast, I-Phone, I-Pad, NetBook, Blackberry or SmartPhone.

You will give people weapons to re-stock their verbal arsenal and you will make each other better. Your clients will hear consistent messages and your firm's vernacular will become richer, deeper and way more vivid and memorable than it is now.

Get past all the 45 minute data dumps and boring product teach-ins and '"stiff-in-the-studio" informational webcasts. This is better. It's cheap, fast and global.

A couple of caveats about the vault before you start. Make it quick and digestible. Make deposits and withdrawls easy and in this age of techno razzle dazzle - don't make it boring.

Save a few bucks and tap the brains on board. In case you forgot, you tend to hire really smart people.

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