Industry Jargon: The Wrecking Ball Of Great Service

By: Joe Crisara

Self Destruction

If you were told that the “jargon” or language that your industry uses was hurting your sales, would you believe it? Well, not only is it destroying your closing rate and average sale but it is also making it harder for you to communicate with your customer. In many cases, it is alienating them beyond the point where they can barely understand you.

Using industry jargon is just plain bad service. Why would a customer call you if they really wanted to learn the “inside language” of your trade?

Think of the time that is wasted explaining what this jargon means. Why not just start by explaining what the problem is causing and then by explaining your solutions by saying what you will do? But this time use the “customers” language and explain what the problems are doing to harm the system. Then explain what your solution will DO, not what they are.

Here are the reasons why industry jargon may be like a wrecking ball affecting your sales results:

1. You make your buyer uncomfortable – Your buyer, or anyone you deal with, for that matter, is not impressed with the inside terminology that many in the contracting industry can’t seem to live without.

It makes them uncomfortable with you when you are constantly defining phrases, efficiency ratings or factors to them after every sentence. You know what I mean. Like when you say, “This is a 14 SEER unit, Mrs. Jones,” which means you keep on blathering (BLAH, BLAH, BLAH) like you are in love with the sound of your own voice. You probably get white calcium deposits on the sides of your mouth from broadcasting or worse yet, reading the literature to them like a bedtime story.

How do you explain a complex subject like efficiency without putting them to sleep? Tell them how this can save them money or help the earth by consuming less electricity or something else they can comprehend that MEANS something to THEM.

2. You wrongly assume they know the jargon – What’s worse than someone who always talks down to the client by explaining the jargon after every sentence? The salesperson assumes the buyer already knows the jargon. What’s even worse is that they aren’t aware they are using it in their language. Do you doubt what I am saying is true? I suggest that you record yourself and listen to what you are saying on just one call. If you can stand listening to yourself, you pass the test.

Imagine if in mid-sentence, your boss started speaking Chinese to you. This is probably what your customer is feeling when you slip into DB or EER ratings when explaining things. Ask them what they have heard about the system. You will be amazed at how much they DO know already.

3. It sounds just like the other guys – The number one rule in sales is if your competition is doing something then you should STOP doing it. That is, unless you want to keep on sounding just like them. If customers DO know the jargon, where did they learn it? From your competition, of course. If using jargon helps so much, then why didn’t the customer just buy from them when they were “carpet bombed” by all that industry jargon?

What are they looking for? Believe me, they are praying for someone, anyone, who is different than all of the others they have had at their home to this point. Want to ruin your chances? Go ahead and start talking like the other guys who just failed before you got there. Or you can do it the right way and just be yourself. Explain it as if you are talking to your three-year-old.

Using industry jargon has no meaning to anyone except people in the industry. Your job is not to educate the customer but to help them understand what your services will do to benefit them. Just explain these benefits in their language – not yours.

Graphic courtesy of www.thewreckingball.ca

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