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Pitching Cloud Solutions to Prospects In Plain English

Using IT terminology in your sales pitch can be confusing to a non-technical audience — so stay away from it. Keeping things in Plain English during your sales calls can go a long way.

Carrie Simpson

February 4, 2015

2 Min Read
Photo by Joe RaedleGetty Images
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Using IT terminology in your sales pitch can be confusing to a non-technical audience. We can learn a lot about why we should keep it simple by considering a visit to the doctor’s office.

If a physician said, “You present with ecchymosis, vastus medialis,” would you understand what she was telling you? Would you spend a few minutes wondering if you should ask them to clarify the terminology? Would you feel a little uncomfortable? A little panicked, perhaps? That overly complicated terminology means the patient has a bruise on the inside of their thigh above the knee. Doctors have learned to bring their terminology to an accessible level. You have “a cold,” or you have “the flu” or a “bruise on your knee.” When they speak to other physicians, they use medical terminology — and even more complicated, abbreviations of that medical terminology — but when they speak to the general public, they simplify.

Review the terminology you are using in your sales calls. Can you explain what you do to your children? How about your parents? How about their parents? This is a great exercise to engage in before you make your next sales call. Are you coming to your prospects with approachable Plain English, or are you using abbreviations and terms that aren’t readily understood by anyone who isn’t in your industry? You want your prospects leaving conversations feeling confident, not overwhelmed. People aren’t going to make a buying decision based on how smart you are, they are going to make a decision based on liking you, trusting you and feeling confident when the conversation is over. To feel confident, they need to truly feel like they understand you and your services, and more importantly, not feel like they are completely out of their element.

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During sales conversations, make sure to continually engage with your prospect. You can’t see someone getting overwhelmed on the phone. Pause frequently so that questions can be tabled, or further explanations can be requested. If you have to use a technical term, follow it immediately with an explanation of that term. Remember, what is common daily terminology to you might sound like a fourth year medical textbook to your prospect. Save the tech talk for conferences and win more business.

How often do you keep your pitches in Plain English? Do prospects typically understand what you’re trying to sell or do they end up questioning your use of terminology?

Carrie Simpson is founder and CEO of Managed Sales Pros.

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About the Author(s)

Carrie Simpson

President, Managed Sales Pros

Carrie has 20 years of inside and field sales experience. She is the founder of Cold Calls Lead Generation, a business to business sales appointment setting firm. For fourteen years she has helped technology companies sell more, more efficiently. Carrie spent two years building the Managed Services lead generation program at The Eureka Project before founding Managed Sales Pros, a sales cycle acceleration firm that focuses exclusively on the managed services ecosystem. She was named by MSPMentor as one of the 250 most influential people in the technology channel for 2013.

Carrie still cold calls daily. She is responsible for client strategy at Managed Sales Pros and is available for consulting, training and speaking engagements. Carrie’s client list includes MSP industry guru Robin Robins, RMM vendors AVG Managed Workplace and Nable by Solar Winds, Network Security firm OpenDNS, the document management startup ITGlue and emerging and established MSPs from Seattle to New York City.

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