Are You Speaking Your Customer’s Language?

by Johnny Bravo · 2 comments

Are You Speaking Your Customer's Language?I came across a post yesterday through a group on LinkedIn I’m a part of called Bloggers helping Bloggers.

This is a community of fellow writers who share their posts, provide feedback, and create an inviting environment for new writers.

I was reading some of the posts from last week and came across one that really stuck with me.

It wasn’t special to me because of the actual topic (although it was still interesting) but it made me think about something all sales people can take for granted every once in a while.

Speaking the same language as your customer.

What sparked this idea was a post by Rachel Haltiwanger over at The Inspired Story. She makes a very simple statement about the difficulty of ordering a 6-inch sub at Subway in Spanish while in Xela, Guatemala. Why? Well because they use the metric system.

Now I’m not talking about English to English or Spanish to Spanish. Yes it is important to speak the same national language as the other person but that is not what I’m referring to with this post.

When I say the same language as your customer I am referring to using the same jargon or nomenclature as them. For example, within my industry (property management software) there are two sets of words I use. One for the Commercial real estate industry and one for the Residential or Multi-Family real estate industry.

I am always conscious of the words I use based on the kind of customer I am working with. Do they understand units or leases? Communities or properties? Square footage or doors?

You might find that this kind of distinction is present in many (if not all) businesses. Pretty much any time you deal with people you might have to be cognizant of this.

So what about you? Do you have to adjust the words you use to the customer you are dealing with? Do you talk differently to a CEO then you do to an Admin? Are your conversations different between your boss and your boss’s boss?

~ Johnny Bravo
Image courtesy of Greenleaf Designs /

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Catarina March 20, 2014 at 10:13 am

Most people never will speak the same language as their customers. Why? Because they concentrate on what they want to say instead of what’s important to their customer.


Becc March 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Catarina captured that well. Often they are too preoccupied with what they want to say rather that what is important to the customer.


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