When I moved into my life as an independent consultant
these two lessons would reverberate in my head. When the
Kmart name was on my business card I had an immediate
credibility. Now I had to prove my credibility to each new
person or company with whom I desired to work. Earning
credibility hinged largely on speaking the same language.
This is no different to the person searching for a new career.
Here are some proven techniques to ensure you are
speaking the language of your audience:
1. Check out their website.
Visiting the website of someone you’re about to meet is the
simplest way to learn their terminology. Do they use
"warehouses" or "distribution centers"? Do they ship in
"Boxes" or "cartons"? Do they have "associates" or "team
It has the added benefit of teaching you more about them.
For the salesperson this is an essential practice. As a
consultant, I implemented a proposal template that requires
me to revisit the website in order to complete my proposal
process. Many people comment positively that I've taken
the time to learn about their company.
2. Visit a trade web site for their industry.
There is a trade site for virtually every industry, discipline,
supply channel, and service. These Internet sites are written
specifically for members in the trade sector. They are a
valuable place for research as they will tell you the “hot
topics” for that industry, all written in the industry's language.
When your audience is asking questions it is imperative you
listen to the words they use. You will very quickly pick up on
This is an excerpt from “Life’s Leadership Lessons” a
collection of 53 anecdotal leadership lessons, each with an
anecdote and the application of the topic in your everyday
life. It is designed for use in weekly staff meetings or for
|Interviewing: 3 ways to
learn the language
|More business by the numbers here,