Are You Speaking Their Language?

On October 25th, 2011, posted in: BIZ-TIP by 1 Comment

The words you choose are so important in establishing rapport and making yourself understood. Using industry terms or jargon that associates or prospective clients may not understand may make them feel ignorant and unsure of themselves. Every industry has its own language. When accountants stress the importance of Internal Controls, many clients have no idea what that is or how to establish them. (If you don’t, see our blog post dated 09.01.11 or click here.)

Acronyms can mean different things to different people. I’m speaking to CSP on Nov 4th – that’s California Staffing Professionals. But to me as a speaker, CSP has always meant Certified Speaking Professional. It’s the same letters, but an entirely different meaning.

When I lived on a 43’ sailboat, every part of it had a different name than a house would. Boats don’t have a door, they have a hatch. No windows, just portholes. It didn’t have a kitchen, but it did have a great galley. (There’s a picture of Paradise on our blog in case you’re interested.)

So make sure that you and the person you’re talking to are speaking the same language and the relationship will be much stronger.

P.S. I’ll be speaking on Best External Practices for Ethical Business for the Better Business Bureau Center for Character Ethics on Wednesday, November 3, 2011 from 11 am to 12:30 pm. To register, visit Hope to see you there!


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One Response to Are You Speaking Their Language?
  1. I have always made an effort to speak in what I call layman’s terms when I speak with clients, especially new ones, and many of them get it. My oldest son has been my office staff this year and he’ll occasionally break in with a new version of what I just said. He’ll tell me after the client leaves, usually a new client, that he saw the deer in headlights because the client wasn’t getting it. So now I need to learn more then one set of layman’s terms because one size does not fit all.


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