impress clientsUgh, acronyms. How many times have you been in a meeting and acronyms were used as a normal way of conversing? Are the words so long that they can only use the initials? Is it some type of secret society to keep people out of the conversation? Do you think it makes your services or solution sexier? Do you use acronyms to impress clients? Be honest!

I have never worked for a company that did not use acronyms. It’s bad enough when we use them internally, but when we use acronyms with clients, what’s the point? Many times I am so distracted trying to figure out the acronym, I miss the point of the sentence. Or, I know I will have to embarrass myself and ask knowing that I may be the only one in the room who does not know what the acronym means. So, I stop and ask and get the eye roll, confirming that I am just not that smart if I do not know the acronym.

If you are the client, how does that make you feel? Does it make you feel like you are one of them, or an outsider? Does it make you feel smarter, or maybe not so smart? Does the acronym “wow” you to the point that you must buy the product or service, since the acronym is so clever, what they are selling must be off the charts in helping you solve your particular problem?

Now, I realize that this world is about acronyms. Especially since we all use them every day; however, they never make me feel smart. Just lazy.

So, I decided to make a few up on my own to make me feel smarter:

BFM – buy from me

AAM – all about me

NATC – not about the client

CMQ – can’t make quota

TMIKWIAD – trust me I know what I am doing

It’s easy. Make up a few acronyms. Use them and confuse and alienate the majority of people in the room, since remember, typically the only ones who understand all of your acronyms are the people at your company. And, they are not buying.

Janice MarsJanice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter