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By Janet Delos Reyes Johnson
Every industry has their fancy words and acronyms that outsiders do not typically understand. Some people have larger vocabularies than others. Even though most people of the world share the English language, there are many subsets of the language that are not universal. If you tend to talk with jargon that is not easily understood by others, you could be holding your customers at arm’s length .
What happens when someone talks to you in a language you do not speak fluently? You try to figure out what they may mean, but in the end you typically feel lost and confused. You have to signal to them in some manner that you do not understand what they say. You may feel slightly embarrassed that you cannot understand .
If you use industry jargon with big words, acronyms, and words not commonly used in the English language, you may be making your customers feel this way unintentionally. In your mind you are simply speaking English, but to the customer you might as well be speaking a foreign language. You are speaking one of those subsets of the language that are not easily understood by everyone .
Get Over the Language
Your customers are not working with you because you wear a fancy suit, drive an expensive car, or have fancy degrees lining the wall of your office. They may be impressed by some of these things, but ultimately they continue to work with you because they trust you. You are seen as an expert in your field and they trust you to keep their best interests in mind. Your language is not what proves your expertise .
You do not need fancy language to keep your clients happy, but you can push your clients away if they have trouble comprehending what you are trying to communicate. When you drop the jargon and start speaking in terms that are easily understood by all, you will find that the lines of effective communication open up between you and your customers. You will get more of a response from each customer and they will feel more comfortable talking to you .
Rather than holding customers at arm’s length, easier language is akin to wrapping them in a hug. You welcome them into your world and allow them to learn from you. If you try to explain your ideas in jargon they may give you the green light to go ahead because they trust you, but that is not the same as knowing they understand your ideas and completely agree with them. Your customers must understand your ideas if they are to supplement with their own ideas and participate in business talk .
How do you get over the language barrier if you tend to be a big-talker? Start by actively listening, and then make an effort to reduce jargon to terms that are easily understood by all. When you reference examples, draw from the life of your customer rather than your own life. This ensures they will understand the point you are
trying to make .
© Quail Run Ventures, LLC – All Rights Reserved. This article is written by Janet Delos Reyes Johnson. Want to use this article for your website, blog or newsletter? No problem. Here’s what you must include: Janet Johnson, the Focused Business Plan Mentor, is founder of the Focused Business Plan System™, the proven step-by-step program that shows established entrepreneurs exactly how to increase efficiency and create action plans in as little as four weeks .