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SALES JARGON – TOP 5 TERMS for Small Business

Sales Jargon – Top 5 Terms to Understand for SMEs

After last week’s blog on Sales v Business Development, I promised Business Development professional Dr. Manisha Patel and Ace blogger Anna Lewin that I’d tackle the Top 5 Sales Terms to understand for SMEs. The Workshop I was asked to facilitate this week at Lancaster University Management School also reminded me that the business world is awash with jargon, which all too often we use without thinking. It behooves all of us to be aware that we might be confusing our audience with all this jargon when we really ought to be talking in plain English.

So, as a bit of a break from the norm, thought I’d run this jargon-busting blog this week. For, if you can Master these Top 5 Terms – or Disciplines – I believe your small business (really dislike that term) can really flourish. Here goes:

Sales Jargon – The Top 5


A Value-Proposition is, literally, what you sell, who you sell to and what business benefits your product or service delivers to clients. A Value-Proposition can change over time, when you innovate or even when you sell the exact same products to different business sectors.


Closing is the process of obtaining an order for your product or service. It literally means you can invoice the customer and pay everyone at the end of the month. You usually need to ask for the order. However, when great salespeople are at work with well-qualified prospects, closing usually happens as a natural consequence of great conversation.

Closing isn’t everything but it’s nearly everything

I borrowed this saying from Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman but it’s still just as valid in the world of sales. If you don’t “close”, you won’t win too much business and you’ll go hungry.


Forecasting is the process upon which you list out all your prospects and list them in date order of when you think you’ll receive the customer’s business. Accurate forecasting is a judgment call and takes practice to master, so your ability in his area will increase over time. However, it’s worth persisting with as it will help you prioritise how you spend your time.


Go-to-Market Strategy is how you sell your products or take them to market. This can be either directly to customers or indirectly through re-sellers or distribution partners or, potentially, a mix of the two. This is a really big subject area, so more on that in future posts.


Referrals are, for me, 1 of the most important aspects of your sales process, yet is often ignored as it’s sometimes considered impolite to ask customers to refer you to another business owner that might need your product.

I realise that, to many sales professionals, this post could appear very basic and Idon’t apologise for that. That’s because it’s aimed at SME business owners, silly!

Calling SME Business Owners

What do you think – too basic or just right?

Are there any sales terms you’ve heard about or you think are more important than these ones?

Let me know.

My next webinar is on 29th November and we’ll be discussing Closing Strategies for SMEs – would love to see you on the call!

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