The annual Doublespeak Award is given to some public figure whose language is deceptive, evasive, jargon or confusing or euphemistic. While usually associated with public figures and corporate environments, some salespeople easily fall into the doublespeak traps without knowing it! Here are the top four doublespeak traps and how they can hurt your sales results.

The deceptive trap. My son is in the computer security industry and is a highly sought after speaker. While there are many technical terms that he clarifies, his language is clean in particular when explaining a problem. He calls a software bug a bug; he calls a software fix a fix. It would be wise to ask questions of someone who might use the deceptive double speak term, “a reliability enhancement.” Just how true, how clean, is that communication? How true or clean do you speak?

The evasive trap. What’s your title? Health counselor, and you sell a health product? Insurance specialist, and you sell insurance? Strategic Alliance Manager, and you are in sales development? Come on salespeople! These kinds of titles are acceptable only after you at least admit to yourself that you are selling something or you’re in marketing. Then if you want to clarify that you are interested in educating, or that you have a certain expertise, or that you value a long term relationship, add the rest of the title.

The jargon trap. Every industry has its jargon! If you’re a financial planner, why not use the word profit, or return on your investment instead of yield? Using jargon with your sales manager, with other people on your sales team, and other people who you work with might be acceptable. However, it can be annoying to a prospect of customer, so start speaking clearly with them and leave the jargon at home.
The euphemism trap. George Carlin has a ten-minute tirade about words that tend to attempt to soften or hide reality - euphemisms. From shell shock, to battle fatigue, to operational exhaustion and now the euphemism, post-traumatic stress disorder – almost disguising the mental and emotional pain soldiers suffer from being in war. Consider the absurdity in this general business example: wasting time gets called project research and then technological survey. Carlin is emphatic that it is the context, the user and the intention behind words that make a word good or bad. What words for your product, service or industry do you use to cover up something that is lower quality, a problem or otherwise negative? Just use words that speak the truth. I’m with George on this.

You say doublespeak is no big deal? William Lutz, professor of English at Rutgers University, authored The New Doublespeak: Why No One Knows What Anyone's Saying Anymore. What does that tell you about the big deal of it? It destroys your communication and is a barrier to trust. It both clutters understanding and puts a salesperson who uses it in a bad light.

Author's Bio: 

Patricia Weber, 20 years sales training and business coach helps introverts, shy and even reluctant to sell extroverts who want to accelerate their sales results! Follow blog, FREE radio shows, podcasts, FREE teleclasses at from America's Sales Accelerator Coach,

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