Sales Training Tip #265: Your Slang is Lost in Translation

Be very careful about the words you use.  Most salespeople sell to cross-generational groups, so you have to be mindful of your word choice.  You may be comfortable using certain words, but they make the person you’re talking to uncomfortable.

This came up again in a meeting last week with some very competent, but young salespeople.  Several of them used the phrase, “to be honest with you…”  Each time they said it, I couldn’t help but think for a moment about how maybe everything else they had been saying up to that point in time was a lie.  I’m sure that wasn’t the case, but the very notion that it was being said got me thinking.  To me, this is a perfect example of cross-generational slang because I tend to hear it from salespeople under the age of 30.  To them, it’s very normal.  That’s the problem with cross-generational slang:  what seems very normal to the person saying it only serves to confuse their listeners.  The last thing you would want is to get “dissed by your posse.”

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