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In the world of sales, things move a mile a minute. You can win or lose a sale in a matter of seconds, and stiff competition is just par for the course. As a salesperson, you want to make a positive, lasting impression on your potential clients, and in order to do that, you need to sound professional and knowledgeable. Depending on your industry, you may find yourself using what are commonly called, buzzwords. Buzzwords are words or phrases that are popular and trendy at a particular time or in a particular context. They can be great when used to convey relevance and showcase your knowledge base, but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily use them all the time. In fact, some are so cringe worthy that they probably shouldn’t be used at all!

The problem with overusing buzzwords is that you can run the risk of alienating your customers if they are not familiar with the terms you’re using. It’s important to keep in mind that just because you know what they mean, doesn’t mean the customer does. Buzzwords often have little real meaning and serve more as a way to impress your audience with modern industry slang rather than deliver any real value. Sure they might sound impressive, but what value are they actually adding to your sales process?

So how exactly do you know what buzzwords to use and what to avoid? We put together a list of the best, worst, and the meh buzzwords we’ve been hearing so far this year. Let’s get started with the best!

The Best

mCommerce: Short for mobile commerce, mCommerce is an all-inclusive term that encompasses any sort of monetary transaction taking place on a mobile device. Just like the now mainstream eCommerce, we predict this buzzword will soon be used and recognized by most of the business community. Mobile solutions are becoming a must for businesses because adopting mobile technologies gives you the ability to connect with your customer base 24/7. Offering mobile solutions to your customers can give you an edge over the competition, so become familiar with this one and use it when you can.

Value Add: What customer wouldn’t want added value? In today’s market, businesses are looking to get the most bang for their buck, so if you can add value to something they are already purchasing, it’s a win for both of you! Just make sure that what you are adding on is something your customer can use and achieve measurable results from. Adding a feature isn’t the same thing as adding value, so make sure you understand your customer and their needs before offering extras.

Partnership: At PowerObjects, we have always valued building partnerships with our customers, believing that by helping them succeed, we succeed. More and more businesses are adopting this ideology and customers are starting to expect it from their business relationships. By stressing to your potential clients that you are interested in building a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with them, you show that you believe in their success and that you truly want to be a part of it. A great example of this is PowerObjects’ strong partnership with Microsoft. After all, you don’t win Microsoft Partner of the Year three times unless you truly practice this ideology! Yammer

The Bad

Ping: If you’re reading this and wondering what the heck a Ping is, then you already get the point of this one. Ping is a term that refers to an IM, or instant message, in a service like Skype for Business. Keep using it internally if it’s applicable to your office, but stay away from it when talking to customers.

H2H: This is a great example of just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! H2H stands for human to human, which is a different take on the more traditional B2B, or business to business. We get it. You see people, not corporations. But there are better ways to emphasize that. It is also good to note here that a quick Bing search returns approximately 21 different definitions of H2H. So unless you really did mean to refer to hand to hand combat, it’s best to stay away from this one.

Customer Focused: This one always throws us for a loop simply because aren’t all businesses customer focused? After all, without customers, you don’t have a business. What’s particularly irksome with this one is while you may think it makes your business sound dedicated to your customers, it’s really more of an empty phrase that doesn’t carry a lot of meaning. Instead, try using a different term like “partnership” as we mentioned above or show your customers how you focus on them by delivering measurable results and offering support and services that help with their business needs. Showing not telling is the key to this one.

The Blah

Best Practice: Best practice refers to a process or methodology that has consistently been proven to deliver desired results. This one has seen an increase in use across a wide range of industries, but that also means that sometimes the term is used too liberally and often out of context. Best practice and standard procedures are different things, and just because your company happens to do things a certain way, doesn’t mean you should slap the “best practice” label on it. Try to make it your best practice not to use this one too much.

Expert: Meh. Salespeople often use this one in reference to themselves, their co-workers, or their company as a whole, and while this one isn’t necessarily bad, it is overused. If you are legitimately an expert on a product or service, great! Good for you! However, if your company is only proficient in a subject area or with a product, state that up-front. Using the word expert implies that there is little to nothing about the product you don’t know. Give credit when credit is due. This will save you from awkward and embarrassing conversations down the road.

Freemium: This buzzword tries to be clever, but for us, it just falls flat. Freemium, a combination of “free” and “premium”, is a business model where you give a base product away for free and then sell additional products to the user that can be used with that base product or service. Skype would be an example of this kind of business model. Freemium is also a perfect example of a word your clients might not understand, so use this one with discretion depending on your audience.

That’s our buzzword breakdown! Now it’s your turn to weigh in. Did we leave any out? What are some words you are tired of hearing? Are there any buzzword you use regularly? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas below. We would love to hear from you!

Until next time, happy CRM’ing!

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Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.