How to Understand Your Jargon

To recap: the first step to problem solving selling – and better conversations with your prospects in general – is to remove industry jargon from your talking points.

What is Jargon

Some of these terms are easy, but others are less obvious. There are some perfectly common and everyday words that – when used within your context – can suddenly become part of your jargon.

Let me give you an example: I was providing customer context training to a room of mortgage loan officers and we got into a conversation as to whether “investment”, to describe the purchase of a home, was a jargon term or not. Is that the word people use when sitting around the dinner table discussing a home? And when people do use the word, is it because of its semantic meaning or is it because “that’s what people say”?

It was an excellent debate and one you should have with your colleagues as to the terminology you all use on a regular basis.

How to Find It

Write out your sales pitches, elevator pitches, marketing spiels: whatever you use when discussing your product or service. Now start to cross out all the obvious jargon.

Try to do this with your colleagues or peers, you will identify different words that must be crossed out.

Even more importantly, start questioning the words that remain. Do these words aptly describe the position, priorities and wants of your customers? There will be debate, back and forth, and sometimes purely subjective answers.

And Start Over

Now rewrite your pitch without using any of the words you crossed out. Think about your client, not your product.

This exercise will help you relate to your customers better than ever before. You will notice the difference in your new sales paradigm, and they will notice the difference in your approach.

Non Sales People

This exercise is especially difficult – and especially valuable – for non-sales Business Developers.

There are many jobs and roles in life where the practitioner or craftsman is also creating his or her own book of business, although they are not sales people themselves. Think of attorneys, CPAs, any freelancer, small business owners, many service providers, etc.

These audiences will benefit from this exercise as a simple and strongly effective improvement to their sales.


The best way to run this work is with a training leader or advisor who can help lead the session. Contact me to find out about my training programs, what a series looks like and how much it all costs.