By Ava Myers
Jargon in any industry is often less well-received by prospects (particularly those mistrustful of corporate culture).
Unfortunately, those who work in finance, accounting, and (perhaps most of all) insurance really get the short end of the stick when you play around with the terms too freely.
Arguably, the worst cases involve playing with semantics in order to pull the wool over a prospect’s eyes.
Take for instance “cutting your losses” or the layoff version of “downsizing.” Those are just really fancy terms for quitting and firing. Putting those words on, say, a banner ad or in your telemarketing pitches might make you sound professional but only enough for what they stand for. Do you really want to be known as the advisor behind employees’ pink slips or the accounting firm that scream small startups to quit for every mess up on their balance sheet? This kind of corporate doublespeak is already suspect in the work place. How much more when you use it in the context of B2B marketing and lead generation?
- It makes your prospects look stupid – And by ‘look stupid,’ you’re taking them for idiots. Even in the event that they won’t understand what you mean, what makes you think that brings them closer to being customers? As for those who do? The best you’ll get is a little misdirection and they’ll never contact you again. A taste of your own medicine, that.
- It lacks transparency – What do you call using a word to make a particular financial tactic a lot less bad than it actually is? Easy: Lying. Does lying inspire trust? No and it’s trust that you need in order to win prospects.
- It turns you into the devil’s advocate – Customers who get into things with too little knowledge is exactly the stuff of financial scams. Unfortunately, that lack of knowledge is easily attributed to marketers and salespeople using euphemistic promises for things they would not normally approve of. By the time they find out, they’ll realize they’ve made a deal with the devil.
So what’s the obvious answer the title? NO! Playing around with semantics in business doubletalk already breeds bad karma. You’d think it’d be different marketing. No, not really. You’re free to make promises, make strong claims. However, stick to calling things as they truthfully are instead of coating with euphemisms and hope gullible prospects will bite.