📅 15th September 2019 | Selling
There’s an awful amount of loose language on social media nowadays.
I’m referring to the written word rather than the latest cool argot on Facebook Live or similar. Surprisingly, the business platform LinkedIn is where you can find casual use of certain words and phrases that have lost their meaning because they are so over-used.
The worst one is the word expert. Let’s for a moment look at the meaning of this much used word:
“Expert – a person with a high level of knowledge or skill relating to a particular subject or activity”. I don’t suppose any of you would disagree with that would you? Yet, all too often in the past, I’ve been to a business networking event, seminar or conference where fake experts are given a few minutes to spout their knowledge. Some needn’t bother at all and begs the question – just how expert is this person? Twitter, Eventbrite and YouTube are also homes to these so-called experts.
The late great sales guru Richard Denny wrote in his best-selling book Selling To Win* (which really was a best seller) ‘I hate using that word, expert. It has often been defined as a combination of an “X” (a has been) and a “spurt” (a drip under pressure)’. It still rings true today. If I get an invitation to listen to a Nobel prize winner or other acclaimed individual, then of course one would accept. There are way too many also-rans out there. Besides, life is too short and time is valuable.
Then there’s the ubiquitous “award winning”. You all know about this. You get e-mails, texts and phone calls from an ego bleating “vote for me”. I’m always suspicious about these types of people and the award ceremonies they attend. I don’t mean the BAFTA’s or some event which recognizes true merit. No, I’m referring to “Best Sales Team” (In House Category) or something equally absurd. What does “best” mean and does anyone outside the company really care?
You also have to think, who votes for these people? Sycophants, back-scratchers, or their mothers?
*Published in 1988 by Kogan Page