The Art of Plain Talking

Orangeville, ON (James Doan) For weeks, I puzzled over a strange sign in front of a house on the way to my local convenience store. Although it had the shape and size of a “For Sale” sign, what it said instead in big letters was simply “For More Information, Text _ to _.” Was it on the market or not? If so, what possible reason could they have not to use the plain words “For Sale”?

The other day the sign had disappeared. To satisfy my curiosity, I looked up the address and learned the house had just been sold. Now, you might assume this shows us that motivated lookers will figure such things out. Nope! You should never make it that hard for potential buyers to know what’s what. Always state what you feel is obvious. Why?

(1) A confused mind says no—or simply retreats.

(2) People are embarrassed to ask questions that might get ridiculed.

(3) Shoppers may need to spend time wondering about basic issues like “Is this a book?” “Does this subscription cost money?” or “Whose opinion is this?” instead of formulating the desire to sign up or buy.

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