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To Attract A Client, You Must Learn Her Industry’s Language

“Wanted: [tag]Virtual Assistant[/tag] For High-Volume Options Trader.” Do you know what a “call” is? A “put?” “Arbitrage” or “yield?”

If you want to work in a particular industry, you’ll have to know more than how to prepare an EXCEL spreadsheet or a compelling sales letter. Fields such as finance, real estate and the health care sector have languages all their own.

To get those clients, you’ll need to learn to speak their language. Bill Lampton, Ph.D, in his article “Learn The Lingo: Expand Your Vocabulary And Your Client List” at, provides these suggestions to bone up on your desired clients’ vocabulary:

  • Identify the groups you want to join or market to, in addition to those that you are affiliated with or cultivating now.
  • Read the group’s publications. Frequently you can find the Annual Report on the corporate Web site. Request back issues of newsletters, magazines, and press releases. Study the mission statement.
  • Interview two or three organizational leaders. When they use terms that puzzle you, ask for clarification. You can do that in the early stages of cultivation without losing credibility. In fact, you will appear interested rather than uninformed.
  • Attend special events open to the public.
  • Tactfully ask for invitations to “insider” events, such as strategic planning sessions and annual meetings.
  • List new words and their definitions, and keep them handy. You could easily compile a glossary for each of your target industries.
  • Incorporate the company’s jargon in your conversations, presentations, handouts, and proposals.

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  1. 1 Comment(s)

  2. By jamesb on Feb 22, 2009 | Reply

    I have had people who have hired me as a VA from various different industries. When they ask you to do certain tasks then they often talk in their own kind of lingo. It is very important therefore that you try to learn this lingo which is easy enough with the internet at your finger tips.

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