In 2008, I traveled to Brazil for work with a large client. I added on a day trip to Rio since I was ‘there’. And during my day with a travel guide, was introduced to the term ‘tribe‘ to describe a group of ‘like’ people.

Marcio Goedes (an excellent guide if you ever travel to Rio) spoke fluent Portuguese and fluent English, so I knew I didn’t misinterpret him. But I asked him to explain more about ‘tribe’ used in this way. Marcio explained that different tribes hang out on the beach together- the family tribe, young single tribe, been-here-forever tribe, athletic tribe, etc. – have their ‘spots’ on the beach and you join the tribe that fits with your lifestyle and taste!

wordsSince then I have used the term Tribal Types to describe the customs and characteristics of groups of people. And this use of the word Tribe has not always been received well!

So, imagine my vindication today when I received an invitation to a new social networking site for bloggers (well, they claim to be so much more) called Triberr!

I laughed out loud because I was WAY ahead on the use of the term in the U.S., I guess.

Triberr invites you to create your own tribe, invite others to be a tribal member and so on. The use of the word, Tribe, has caught on!

Now, maybe I can connect more easily with others when I use tribe in my language! You see, in working with people, we need to speak the same language to be understood, to build trust and to win sales.

In my work with dozens of companies each year, I hear the different ‘languages’ of each company. There are many terms and acronyms unique to the company’s work, culture and solutions. And yet, as sales professionals, if this language makes NO sense to others, we lose the ability to build trust and win sales.

Now, though I stuck with the Tribal Type term for the last three years, I did stop using it with some customers that could not accept the modern meaning.

It’s the same for you, if your terms/acronyms are unique to your company, prepare to explain them or substitute them for the language that makes sense to your prospects and customers. After all, it’s their understanding and comfort that matter.

For me though, just for today I am feeling great about the term Tribe and that it is ‘catching on’!