Pardon the headline but its often so true. We often catch ourselves sounding like everyone else and using the same jargon over and over again. I was chatting with one of my team members last week about “sales-isms” like sharpen your pencil, cats and dogs, buyers are liars and ABC as referenced in this famous scene from Glengarry Glen Ross, the best sales movie of all time. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.
While we were cracking up at the stuff sales people say it reminded me of a fun little game we came up with on the SMB sales team at SuccessFactors in 2008. At the time we sat in a bullpen style inside sales floor where about 15 of us were sardine canned into a small area and we could always hear one another on the phone doing cold calls, qualifying leads, running demos, presentations, negotiating contracts and running discovery calls. All day long people around us would be dropping acronyms, catch phrases and buzzwords so we came up with an idea to make things more interesting. We took a bunch of the most common phrases and turned it into a Bingo game so folks could actively listen and catch our colleagues using cheesy phrases while they were trying to close deals. The outcome was hilarious. Some of the sales people would try not to use the phrases while others would do their best to shoe horn as many of them into a single sentence as possible. Imagine your colleague saying something like “At the end of the day you are the project champion and its all about aligning expectations so our executive sponsors have a clear path to a close plan with mutual benefit and ROI from the POC we are spinning up for the end of quarter close so you can take advantage of this smoking deal we approved.”
If you are feeling bored this week, give the game a try! I put together some bingo cards you can print and use here. Thanks goes to http://print-bingo.com/ for the easy setup!