Use Their Language

I don’t know about you, but I’m quite proud of my education.  There’s a part of me that enjoys using unusual words.  I don’t do this to patronise, but to add illumination.  The other day I prompted a pal to ameliorate a situation, and he remarked on what a good word it was.  The problem is that this can cause problems in selling.  You might think that using acronyms and jargon would be a good thing.  Beware.  These cause similar train smashes.

I’ve spent time lately assessing various cold-call approaches for a recent product innovation.  For a while, I road-tested one that featured the phrases “micro-management” and “crm”.  Y’know, I can hear you whince as I write.  My product is neither of these yet I thought conveying knoweldge of them as issues would support my story.  In reality though, as soon as those words registered with my prospect, it was Game Over.

I was reminded of a meeting I had as a buyer to further a separate endeavour.  The person pitching kept talking about “monetising” a certain asset.  Such phraseology was too abrupt and ugly, and anti my mindset, so I drifted away.

It was a stark reminder of several things (not least of which is that all people that run sales teams hate talking about changing crm).  Prime among them though, was that whatever you’re trying to get across, it must be in their language, not yours, to stand any chance of ears pricking up in your direction.

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