Learning Customer Language

Learning someone else's language means learning their subtle nuances and expressions. Many people who journey to the United States are confused when they confront someone with a different regional accent or expressions. Try asking where the “water fountain” is in New Hampshire, then ask someone in Alabama.  It is a completely different apparatus!

Just going to Canada can confuse a newcomer from the United States.  I try to learn expressions and usages of words wherever I go as well as how to properly pronounce cities, provinces and idiomatic expressions (like “out and about”).

I remember traveling to Montreal with my family as a young boy and attempting to order breakfast in French.  Not knowing the waitresses all spoke clear English I decided I would sound local... I had studied French for over four years, but the waitress laughed at my efforts and asked in plain English, “Would you like sausage or bacon with those eggs?”  Lesson learned.

In business as well you need to know the language your customers speak.  Are you communicating in <i>their</i> language, or forcing them to speak in your terms and policies?

Learn what your customers want in THEIR language and speak it plainly to them.  Don't try to make them call it what you call it, but sell what they are asking for.  If they want a back crack; don't correct them and scold them into saying, "Adjustment." If they want a Chevy, don't educate them that it is called a "Chevrolet."

If you think your customers need an education, you are the one in the need of the education!

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