Every industry has a language all its own. We know this because we talk about how many “spots” to sell and we want to know the “demo.” We talk to clients about our “schedule” having a 50 “reach” and a 4 “frequency.” Our inside terms go on… rating, share, unique visitors, and so on. Too often I hear reps use industry terms as though they’re everyday language. A client we may call on will try to explain the information he received from a rep and ask us for clarity. What happens many times when a client meets with a rep and the spots and dots talk begins, often the client nods his or her head as though they know what they mean, but I wonder. When in doubt, stop and ask. If the client hesitates, explain what the word means. Clarify what you’re trying to communicate. Better yet, avoid those inside terms. Tell the client how many commercials they’ll receive with the advertising plan and ask them what the common characteristics of their core customers are: age, gender, income levels. KEEP IT SIMPLE!
On the other hand, knowing the inside language of a particular industry can be of value when making a call and/or presentation. The following are terms I’ve picked up that are standard language in various sectors:
– Gross profit – the difference between the price the buyer pays and what the dealer paid for the vehicle.
– Program cars – late model, low mileage (often one-owner) vehicles. They could be part of a fleet such as a rental car, or even a dealership car used by managers or employees.
– UPs – a potential customer, most often someone on the lot or in the showroom, but can also include a website visitor or a phone call.
– Pump-in & Pump-out – if you ask a dealer how his pump-in is, the answer will be how many vehicles he sells to customers that live outside his assigned franchise area.
Conversely, pump-out is the number of vehicles sold by another dealer to people who live in the first dealer’s area.
Hospitals/Nursing Homes/Retirement Communities
– Keep in mind there are varying service levels of retirement communities based on the amount of staff attention a resident requires. From the least to the greatest attention: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, memory care. As one would suspect, the cost for a resident rises commensurate to the attention level.
– Census – the percentage of beds in a hospital or nursing home, or apartments in a
retirement community, that are occupied or rented.
– At-need/Pre-need – Important terms that are standard in describing the timing of customer decisions in both sectors. Simply put, pre-need refers to advanced arrangements and at-need to arrangements made at the time of death. For both businesses, at-need decisions are based on pre-existing relationships and/or factors such as awareness, image, and location. Pre-need arrangements can be marketed and allow the business to take a pro-active position in an effort to increase future revenues.
– Most furniture stores would divide what they have to sell into upholstery, case goods, dining room/bedroom pieces, and bedding. Upholstery includes sofas, couches, recliners, and similar pieces, and is most often the largest area of sales. Dining room/bedroom furniture is pretty much self-explanatory and is generally the second largest selling category. Case goods are cabinets, entertainment centers, and similar pieces.
– Containers – most furniture sales are products that are now manufactured in China. Larger stores order inventory by the container, which is what the merchandise is shipped overseas in. Containers resemble or are what trucks haul behind the cab.
RV Sellers - Though the industry is mostly in hibernation now, when it comes back the lingo includes:
– Towables – in various sizes, including fifth wheels. As the name suggests, there’s no motor involved. These campers and trailers must be hooked onto a truck or other vehicle and are the less expensive of the two major categories.
– Motor Homes – the large, fully contained vehicle/living quarters, embodied by sports commentator John Madden’s rolling cross-country transportation and living quarters, the “Madden Cruiser.” They’re expensive gas hogs, but in better economic times, this was a profitable market for RV dealers.
– Toy Haulers – hybrid, towable RV’s. Their utility is primarily to haul “toys” such as motorcycles, jet skis, snowmobiles, and the like. Relatively inexpensive, but a trendy area for dealers in recent years.
Jewelry Stores - No unique lingo here, but it’s important to understand that the two major sales areas are the bridal market and diamond sales. These two areas have very different target demos and comprise the majority of a store’s sales. Mall stores (mostly chain locations), will focus on the bridal market, as they tend to carry less expensive merchandise and their location has historically provided easy access to younger people.
We strive to provide quality service while maintaining productive growth for our clients.