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Say What?

Don't confuse customers or prospects with overuse of industry acronyms.

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Every industry has its own set of words, acronyms and codes that serve as verbal shorthand. Some of this jargon is fairly well-known, but most of it isn't. For example, most people know that a "spot" on television means a short commercial message. But how many know what a "donut" means in TV-language? (It's a commercial message where the beginning and end remain the same from showing to showing but the middle--the hole in the donut--is changed frequently.) Your industry has its own jargon, too.

It's important to identify your specialized terms and make sure your prospect understands them. Be especially careful of acronyms--those collections of initials that are taking over our language. For instance: "We are offering you only Bb+ rated or better NYC GO's, so your 1099 will be very simple." This may be perfectly clear to a stockbroker or an accountant, but what does it mean to you and me--or the prospect?

Excerpted from Creative Selling: Boost your B2B sales