How to Get Away from Jargon and Old Selling Habits

Michele Warg
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In the fast-paced, competitive sales industry, jargon is impossible to ignore. Salespeople use insider terms to communicate with one another. When it comes to dealing with customers, however, the best sales techniques eliminate jargon.

One of the biggest problems with jargon is its limited audience. Most terms are coined and used only by industry insiders, either as a shorthand form of communication or a way to describe new ideas. Many corporate and individual customers have a hard time understanding and relating to insider terms; in many cases, jargon can alienate your customers. In the industry, these words and terms are called "wallet closers." By learning sales techniques that use better, more effective words, you can connect with your customers and make it easier for them to understand your value proposition.

For many sales professionals, kicking the jargon habit is a difficult task. Traditional sales techniques make no mention of jargon; some even encourage it as a way to position the salesperson as an expert. Y may not even be aware of the extent to which you use industry-specific language in your sales techniques.

The first step in updating your technique is to research common sales jargon terms. Words and phrases like "value add," "customer focused," "full service," and "best in class" have been so overused that they have lost their meanings.

The use of jargon points to a deeper flaw in most sales techniques—it focuses on the salesperson rather than the customer. Instead of telling a customer that you are focused on her needs, show her: demonstrate an understanding of her industry and ask questions that help you get to the heart of the issue. Listen carefully to what she says—in most cases, it will give you all of the information you need to make the sale. Instead of using jargon, frame your sales pitch around the client's individual needs, providing examples from similar clients when possible. According to a recent story from LifeHealthPro, it can also be helpful to explain why your products or services should matter to a customer. By using language and anecdotes that the customer can relate to, you can establish an immediate connection.

If you are struggling to cut out jargon, conduct a personal version of standard sales training. Reexamine your products or services and write out a description of each product in the language you would use to explain it to a child. Explain the value, how your product solves problems, and how customers can use it to improve the bottom line. By forcing yourself to focus on clarity and simplicity, you can create new scripts that will override outdated versions.

Whether you've just graduated from your first sales training or you are an experienced salesperson, eliminating jargon can pay off handsomely. By updating your sales techniques, you can connect with customers and increase sales in 2014.


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  • Jenny Anderson
    Jenny Anderson
    This info is priceless. Where can I find out more?

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