Using technical terms in an effort to “speak” the potential customer’s language can delay or deter buying decisions, according to a recent study. It reveals that sales information for high-tech products was teeming with terms prospects didn’t fully understand.
Only 3% of the prospects surveyed said they fully understood most of the terms used in the sales presentations. Prospects said the confusion convinced them that the products or services involved would be difficult to install and maintain.
Prospects who were the least knowledgeable also turned out to be the most likely to put off a purchase. The survey concluded that prospects who understood more are likely to buy sooner than those confused or intimidated by technical terms.
Adding to confusion
The study also shows that salespeople tend to use the same confusing terms in their presentations that are contained in their sales literature. Just because a prospect’s been in the business for years and knows the terms, salespeople shouldn’t assume a new buyer knows them also.
Steps to take
Before using technical terms in their presentations, ask your salespeople to test them out on a range of existing customers. Tell them to look for body language that hints at confusion, like a furrowed brow or wandering eyes. They should also seek advice on creating terms that customers understand.
Then put together a short cheat sheet for technical terms or complex processes that arise often and tend to confuse prospects. Try to come up with more understandable terms or avoid them entirely.