Alphabet Soup

It may have been when one of my new co-workers said  “Fizz Bow” to me that I knew I needed to write this blog.  It made me think of all the times I had no idea what someone was saying, but I would nod and smile so no one thought I was ignorant of the subject.  Perhaps age has made me just stop and say “what the heck are you talking about?”

“Fizz Bow” turns out to be an acronym for “FSBO” or “For Sale By Owner.”  Who da thunk?!  When you look the word “acronym” up in the dictionary it gives a little statement at the end of the definition – “There is no universal standardization of the various names for such abbreviations and of their orthographic styling.”  That means there is no way for people to logically figure out what we are saying when we use an acronym.

Great sales people do not use acronyms!  We all have our industry speak…but we should not use acronyms or anything remotely close to industry speak when talking to a potential client.  We don’t know what they know or they don’t know.  One way to start a conversation from the beginning, and you need to do this throughout the sale all the way to close, is to say “I want to explain this in the simplest of terms, but if I get too elementary, just tell me and I will move quicker through the conversation.”  It is interesting that I cannot recall when a prospect asked me to speed it up.

Just for fun, I thought I might share some well known acronyms that most people have no idea what the letters stand for, but you will definitely know the product!

  • BMW – Bavarian Motor Works
  • CVS – Consumer Value Stores
  • A & W – (Roy) Allen and (Frank) Wright
  • M & M – Mars & Murrie’s
  • 3M – Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing
  • JC Penney – James Cash Penney
  • Taser – Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle
  • Smart (car) – Swatch Mercedes Art
  • Zip (code) – Zone Improvement Plan

And then let’s just list some acronyms we all know very well…

  • AKA
  • ETA
  • FYI
  • CIA
  • FBI
  • RSVP
  • ATM

I could go on and on, but the lesson here is if you are not wildly famous and well known, or your subject matter isn’t cemented in history with very few changes, then you should not be using acronyms!

I welcome hearing from you and your industry acronyms!




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