Gerry Riskin Blog Edge International


People will not buy what they do not understand.” – Lee LeFever


A recent article in the Harvard Business Review makes a compelling argument for not only explaining our work to our clients, but for thinking carefully about how we explain it, including what words we use.

As Lee LeFever, the author of the article, points out, many of us are so familiar with our own industry or professional terminology that we forget that our clients may consider what we say to be little more than mumbo jumbo. This inability to remember our intimate familiarity with subjects that other intelligent people may not understand is what LeFever describes as “The Curse of Knowledge.”

LeFever offers seven useful tips that will help companies to explain their products better to prospective customers and clients. Some of my favourites are, “Explain the forest, not just the trees,” and “Your job is to inform smart people.”

I believe that lawyers can benefit from LeFever’s advice when we are talking to clients – and not only prospective clients, but also current ones. If any group can be accused of having a jargon problem, it is lawyers. (Well, and the medical profession. And the IT industry. But you get my meaning.)

Your comments and feedback are always welcome, either on this blog or via my email.