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Home  > Article

Talk Like The Veterans

By Alice Speri

Here are some examples of the sales industry lingo that you will hear during the first week on the job, if not the interview.


The word is pretty self-explanatory, but in sales the concept is a little different. A competitor is someone you can neither ignore nor befriend. You are both selling the same product to the same audience and one of you will inevitably be better at it. Dealing with a competitor involves all kinds of strategies, from price rebates to tailored product offers.

Major call

The deal every salesman aspires toward: some never get it, and others manage to get a few. The major call is the big-deal sale you make when selling a large quantity of products to a client, or any amount of product to a very important client.

Direct Selling

This old-fashioned way of selling, now almost extinct, is slowly coming back into fashion and remains one of the options for individual contractors. Direct selling means bringing products to the costumer's door or engaging an audience in a demonstration.  Forget slammed doors and rude responses -- these one-on-one meetings are usually arranged beforehand.

Entry-Level Salary

Though these vary from company to company, a first-timer can expect $40,000 - $50,000 a year, with peaks twice as high and added commission payments directly proportional to talent and success.

Insurance Sales

One of the fields on the rise, insurance sales requires a slightly different approach, because it entails offering a product that most clients will already have and that dozens of other companies also offer. For people with previous experience, insurance sales can be rewarding for those who truly understand their client's needs and are not afraid to fail repeatedly.


Your style has little to do with your choice of outfit and everything to do with your choice of strategy, and it's another favorite word in the sales world. Style is the way you pose yourself in the sale and combines both your personality and your technique. From aggressive to repetitive to mysterious, sales styles are as varied as the types of salesmen. Needless to say, some styles are more successful than others.

Personal coaching

Personal coaching is the current trend for both aspiring salesmen and seasoned veterans looking to refresh their style (andmaximize profit). Dozens of sales trainers offer this mix of basic psychology tips and real-life scenarios. Be sure to get some references from your trainer before committing to one of these pricey workshops - there are a lot of charlatans out there.

Custom training

This is the same idea as personal coaching, only applied to your entire company. It's tailored to larger groups, and it gets more specific in the scenarios. It's also a less risky investment.

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