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How To Write Jargon-Free Sales Emails

Sales jargon, buzzwords, and clichés are words and phrases that are so overused they’ve lost their meaning. For example: business value, game-changing, or AI-anything. Vague language masks your meaning. It makes your emails and proposals indecipherable, lowers your response rates, and wastes your prospect’s time. Want to win more deals? Learn to write clearly.

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Replacements For Common Sales Jargon, Buzzwords, And Clichés:

Not all replacements work all the time. Use your best judgement. The goal is to write simply and be understood. Sometimes there’s no way around jargon. For example, describing your product as “personalized” is probably better than saying “it displays a different version of the website to every visitor.” But often, there’s a better option.

Simple writing doesn’t mean dumb writing – it means you’re writing at a lower reading level, so your words are generally smaller, your language more precise, your sentences shorter, and you have more breaks. In short, your prospects will pick up your meaning faster and actually have a chance to read and respond.

Common sales buzzwords

Actionable –> Applicable / Immediately useful

AI-powered –> Uses AI / Uses machine learning

Align –> Reach an agreement

Architect –> Build / Create

Bandwidth –> Capacity

Big data –> Data

Big picture –> Outline / Blueprint

Bleeding edge –> New

Core competency –> Competency / Capability

Cutting edge –> New

Cut and dry –> Clear

Disruptive –> *Any other adjective*

Dynamic –> Changing

Gamification –> Incentives / Reward structure

Game-changer –> It’ll have a big impact / *Describe an actual effect the product has*

Granular –> Detailed

Growth hacking –> Growing

Hard stop –> Stop

Holistic –> Complete

High-tech –> Tech

Hyper- [anything] –> Very / *nothing*

Impactful –> Effective / *Name an actual effect the product has*

Integrated –> Combined

Intentional –> Thoughtful

Leading –> *Find a real attribute. E.g. Ranked #1 by Forrester, Highest in customer satisfaction, etc.*

Learnings –> Lessons

Mission critical –> Critical

Next generation –> New

Optimize –> Improve

Personalization –> *Explain how it really works*

Robust –> Effective / Powerful

Revolutionary –> New

Scaleable –> Can grow / Flexible / Modular

Streamline –> Simplify

Synergy –> Cooperate

Synthesize –> Make sense of

Transformative –> Powerful / Effective / *Name an actual impact*

Thought leader –> *Use their real title. E.g. author, speaker, president, etc.*

Viral –> Immensely popular

Paradigm shift –> A new way of thinking about the issue

Window of opportunity –> Opportunity

Wheelhouse –> Speciality

Common sales jargon

360 degree view –> Complete view

Boil the ocean –> Trying to do too much

Deep dive –> Investigate

Decision maker –> Buyer

Drill down –> Reach / Explore / Investigate

Many moving parts –> Complicated / Complex

Move up the value chain –> ???

Punt (an idea) –> Pass on (an idea)

Take it offline –> Talk afterward / Speak in private

Touch base –> Talk / Reach out

Common sales clichés

Boots on the ground –> In-person

Built it from the ground up –> Built it

Cast a wide net –> Scour / Search widely

Circle back –> Revisit

Circle the wagons –> Meet

Flex your [creative] muscle –> Try

Get down to brass tacks –> Begin / Start

Get our ducks in a row –> Get organized

Give 110 percent –> Try hard / Put in a huge effort

Lean in –> Commit

Low-hanging fruit –> A simple opportunity / An easy way to begin

Move the needle –> Change

Outside the box –> Creative

Peel the onion –> Investigate / Explore

Push the envelope –> Extend the limit of what’s possible

Put it on the back burner –> Set it aside / Deprioritize

Raise the bar –> Raise the standard of

Run it up the flagpole –> Ask our leadership

Take a step back –> Rethink / Put on hold

Any ones we missed? Let us know

Why are jargon, buzzwords, and clichés harmful?

There’s a real financial cost to poorly written communications: They sabotage deals. Unread emails, un-clicked links, and rejected proposals waste the salesperson’s time and harden prospects to future outreach.

For example, the following is obviously a canned message. It doesn’t matter how many prospects you send it to, numbers can’t compensate for confusion:

“I’d love to tell you about our next-generation AI data processing solution that helps business owners such as yourself push the envelope, increase engagement, and disrupt the market.”

Salespeople become habituated to vague, flowery language because they hear others using it. Talking about “touching base” and “taking things offline” feels like learning the industry lingo. But for those outside the industry, namely, your prospect, it thickens your writing and makes your outreach ineffective.

Want more writing tips? Visit our blog, The Beat.

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