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  • Cameron Finlay

Speaking In The Present Tense



Mentioning things happening right now in newsletters or articles can be problematic. Won’t things be outdated quickly? Yes, and that’s my point.


I read lots of books, especially ‘standard’ business books, marketing, behavioural economics, and social psychology-ish. Psychology is helpful (although some still wonder about me?) because it is about how people think, behave and make decisions. Which, if you strip that down, is marketing and business decision-making.


Some books are older, but can still be re-read for the information and strategies, like ‘Selling the Invisible’ by Henry Beckwith, first published in 1997. Very insightful on the selling of (invisible) professional services. Some of the examples and references are dated, but the messages are still appropriate. So, how is this relevant? Does being a bit behind in our stories matter? Must we avoid cultural happenings and phrases so that we don’t sound quickly outdated? I think it depends (not being wish-washy).


For communications like this one, I think you regularly and intentionally include timely references, it’s about what’s happening now. That matters. A big part of what we do as sellers of the invisible (hey, a great name for a band!) is building connections and trust, and for prospects to know, like, and trust us. You write as a friend, not as if it is a research paper.


What we do at networking and in our communications is to build knowing, liking, and trust. That means talking about what is relevant and useful now, economic trends, marketing, referrals to prospects and contacts, and political decisions. So, our newsletters and blogs might perhaps look dated in a few years, and as you are selling a trust-based service the message is communicated in the present and you’ll prosper in the future.


As we said in the nineties ‘Hasta la vista, baby!’



Cam Finlay (Arnold & Finlay Accountants & Planners Pty Ltd)
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