A world-class blog that raises the bar on all things cliché and how to avoid them from day one

Hope Draper     15 November 2018

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There’s a temptation to use words when writing that you would not use when speaking. Using clichés is something that needs to be done with care. You don’t want to use a cliché unless you are sure that the reader will be familiar with it and will understand it in the same way the writer does.

From Day One

Really? Day one is so overused nowadays. Give them a specific date or milestone and sound more certain and believable.

Break Down Silos

Are you a farmer? If so, keep breaking down those silos. If not, talk about how you will share information effectively between team.

Hit the Ground Running

Overused and meaningless since time began. Instead, explain talk about specifically what your experience or expertise will achieve e.g. a smooth transition.

Innovative

WARNING. Only use this if part of your solution is actually innovative. And if it is truly innovative, tell them why.

Best in Class

Are you a dog at Crufts? If so, carry on being best in class. If not, focus on client outcomes instead of praising yourself and tell them what your solution will do for them.

Added Value

Often used to imply a customer will receive something for little to no incremental cost which means that what's received isn't value added because it's a part of the overall deal. Tell your clients the deal, explain all the options and add-ons, and help them figure out how they can take full advantage of what you provide.

Right First Time

Obviously. There is no need to state this.

Raising the Bar

On what? to who? You need to refer to specific, measurable performance levels which are both familiar to and will resonate with your audience.

These clichés seem to crop up with monotonous regularity in bids and proposals and make sure you use them with caution, particularly when bidding to a client for the second time. They will read it before and it will lack even more credibility. Finally, along the lines of less is more, using a diagram, a chart or a picture not only saves thousands of words but also breaks up the text and makes the document look better.

 

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