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The Language of Sales

Linguists will tell you that there are between 6,500 and 6,800 different languages spoken in the world today, but technically it would be more accurate if you doubled that number. The first thing that I learned in college was that along with every subject that I took there was a hidden language course.  The language of my master’s field, which was education, was a walk in the park for me, and the language in my business degree was comfortable, but I have to tell you the language of statistics, algebra and chemistry remained forever foreign to my ear.

Most everyone owns a copy of the basic dictionary as first conceived by Noah Webster in 1828, but if you have a career, a passion or simply a relaxing hobby you may own a dictionary with all of the terms that go with it.  I’m a writer and my novels embrace history so I have a collection of dictionaries with all of the terms from the Vietnam War; 12th Century Scotland; Gaelic translated to English; slang of the Old West, The California Gold Rush; Civil War Battles; Slavery in the Deep South, and WWII, etc.

Whether you have it in a bound book, or in your head, you own the dictionary of Sales.  Interestingly enough the words and phrases are not exclusive to business.  Mostly likely you learned them during your growing up years.

Sales Dictionary

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Thoughtful Conversation
I know this one.  It’s from The Sermon on the Mount -– “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”  If someone were calling you, wouldn’t you want them to be polite, considerate of your time, patient, a good listener, be respectful, and say please and thank you?  Wouldn’t you want them to be able to solve a problem for you?

Leadership
I learned about leadership on my 2nd grade playground.  I loved “Follow the Leader.”  Someone has to be at the head of the line, and they best know where they are going.  It takes years of learning to be a good business leader and to gain the skills that are reflected back through your confidence.  Good leaders remember what it was like to follow.

Integrity
Reliability
Preparedness
Trustworthiness
I got all of those in scouting.  I didn’t know at the time that they would serve as a foundation in all successful business deals.  Scouting was a sneaky way to build my character, but where would I be without it?  Turn your prospects into customers by polishing these traits.

Research
My 7th grade History teacher insisted on it.  At first I fought it, and then I came to love it because I finally figured out that it opened fascinating doors.  In sales it might just be the details you know that garner you a second call; that close the deal.  While the common comeback on this topic is, “there just isn’t time,” know that the time you make for it, will pay you back.

Teamwork
When I was a kid, my family ate all winter long because in the summer my sisters, my mother and myself divided the chores of picking the vegetables, peeling and chopping them up, and packing them in jars.  When the sales cycle is long, a multitude of people are involved.  It takes every hand, idea and the combined energies of the team to complete the steps in the process.  Success is the result of quality teamwork.

Rejection
All writers know about rejection.  Not everything I’ve written soared.  All rejection means is to increase efforts, improve your technique, and keep trying.  That is the way it is in sales too.  Even when you get a “no thank you” say “thank you” and dial the next number.  There are people waiting for your call.

The more comfortable you are with the language of your trade the better you will be at doing your job.  The words are nouns, but you won’t make money until you turn them all into verbs.  Do have thoughtful conversations; do follow your leader; practice integrity, reliability, preparedness, and trustworthiness.  Do the research, play nice with teammates, and shrug off rejection so that the person waiting for your call, gets it.

Incite: to stir up or provoke to action