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Don’t Push the Envelope

Here’s another tired cliché for you – “pushing the envelope.”  What in the world does that mean?  Should you do it?  Does it refer to some janitor with a broom, sweeping up used business envelopes into a dustpan?  Does that refer to the worker who just dropped an envelope off his desk when he shuffled his paperwork?
These may be silly answers, but they point out the silliness of “sameness.”  Is it okay to used old clichés like this or “thinking outside the box” to express what everyone else understands in plain English?  Do these clichés make people feel more important to their customers, too?  Is speaking in understandable language becoming a novel thing to do – the exception rather than the rule?
If your customer speaks in the language of sameness, go ahead and keep using the old clichés.  But if they want direct information in a concise manner, why not provide it?
Are you communicating to your clients in a way that they can easily understand, or are you using jargon that may confuse them?  That’s the last thing you want to do.  Communicating effectively with the homeowner is the most important task you have on a service call.
So, if they don’t understand what “pushing the envelope” means, don’t do it.

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