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This simple truth is widely ignored even though studies show that sales and marketing pitches filled with jargon and corporate speak come across as rude, misleading or obnoxious. Simple plain English is viewed as honest and friendly and closes deals.



“Big words don’t equal a bigger brain, intelligent people who are confident in their message and passionate about what they do don’t need obscure language to communicate,” writes John McFerran.
Simple, Plain English Closes Deals
This simple truth is widely ignored even though studies show that sales and marketing pitches filled with jargon and corporate speak come across as rude, misleading or obnoxious. Simple plain English is viewed as honest and friendly and closes deals.

The sales and marketing world is awash in jargon and euphemisms.

Examples of corporate speak and jargon:
“We will study the cross-promotional dynamics, identify revenue stream enhancement opportunities and determine and develop deal mechanics;” or “Our platform is a synergistic best of breed solution for managing departmental and interpersonal relationships in order to identify and optimally utilize resources.” Huh? Reading this is much like listening to a 5-year-old recap a SpongeBob episode.


You can’t escape it. Unintelligible, obscure, misdirecting and pretentious language is everywhere you turn.

Companies are not laying people off; they are “rightsizing.” One head of a major international corporation described the company’s ongoing job chopping as “synergy-related head count restructuring.” You betcha!

Another firm didn’t receive payment when the check arrived instead it had a “liquidity event.”

Politicians, of course, are masters at misdirection and sugarcoating harsh realities. Heck, they’re not going to propose raising your taxes. Instead they are introducing “revenue enhancement initiatives.”
Few are fooled but they persist.

Good news! There is no longer employee theft at some companies. It’s been replaced with “personnel displaced inventory.”

Bureaucrats have long loved playing the game. Citing just one of thousands of examples: Conservation has become “environmental stewardship.”

One company, in an attempt to make job titles sound uber-important, identifies their Marketing Manager as Vice President, Sales Enablement Strategies and their Sales Manager as Vice President, Sales Process and Practices. Guys, these were already very important jobs and really didn’t need bombastic corporate embellishment.

Sharpen Your Sales Presentations
Because it’s everywhere, it’s easy to unconsciously let corporate speak, jargon and euphemisms creep into your sales presentation.


Remember, a major reason why customers don’t buy is their inability to understand and trust what they are being told. Buyers see red flags in a salesperson’s use of terms that sugarcoat, obscure, mislead and confuse. Who can blame them?


In sales, plain English wins the day.

About the author

Michael Dalton Johnson

Michael Dalton Johnson

Michael Dalton Johnson is an award-winning publisher and successful entrepreneur and business leader. He…

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