Have you ever considered how you might speak a different language than your buyer?

Even if you both speak English, or Spanish, or French, or Chinese, the words and terms you use may be ‘foreign’ to each other. Add to the fact that many of us do work with global buyers and we also have real language challenges. In either case, I am constantly amazed at the different connotations of words and phrases.

For example today is May 1st. Often called May Day. For me its a happy reference and a celebration of spring. I envision young girls in pastel dresses around the May Day pole.

In other countries its a holiday to recognize organized labor, a day of political protests and sometimes a holiday!

Mayday, as in” mayday, mayday” is also a distress signal in radio communications.

A simple term like May Day has many different meanings, connotations and can create different emotional reactions when someone hears it.

It’s one of thousands of examples of how we can think or mean one thing to us and something VERY different to the recipient ?

And this ‘miss’ leads to interesting dynamics at times, doesn’t it?

  • The seller mentions a guarantee, and the buyer immediately connects their own experiences to the guarantee.
  • The seller mentions quick turnaround or fast delivery, and the buyer immediately has an expectation of the date in their mind.
  • The buyer mentions that he has a question, and the seller immediately thinks of objections and how to ‘win’.
  • The buyer says that she is the decision maker, and the seller does not ask for more information to qualify.

The potential issues here are MISSED expectations leading to missed opportunities and missed connectivity. It leads to barriers and dissatisfaction later.

To ensure that your communications and conversations are understood and the correct expectations are defined, clarifying questions and discussions need to be used. It’s okay to say:

  • “Tell me more…”
  • “I want to ensure we are on the same page, what do you mean by….?”
  • “This word or term can mean different things, let me explain what fast delivery is for our solution.”
A second ‘miss’ is when we use acronyms that are very familiar to us and mean NOTHING to the buyer. In working with sales teams, one fo the first things I need is a dictionary of their terms/acronyms so we can communicate.
To ensure you are speaking the same language with your buyers, clarify terms and explain acronyms so you speak the same language leading to less missed opportunities and more closed sales.