Are We Speaking The Same Language?

In October 2, 2013

It’s very easy to make the mistake of using your industries’ vernacular to describe and communicate your product or service to a customer and assume they know what you are talking about.  In the materials handling business there can be quite a disconnect in terms when talking about types of powered industrial equipment.  Is it a fork lift or a fork truck?  The answer is yes.  Don’t assume your customer knows what you mean when you say “We’d like to demo our new cherry picker”.  To your prospective client this could mean a stock picker, a bucket truck, a work platform attached to a fork lift or fork truck….It could even be a ladder.  The term “189 triple” may be as common as a dozen donuts to you.  Every seasoned forklift salesperson knows this is a fairly common standard for max lift and mast stages but to someone else this may be an ice skating maneuver that warrants a perfect score if executed properly.  Ever heard of a tow motor?  Could be a tugger, like the Crown TR 4500, used to pull carts around a warehouse facility.  It could be any number of power lift equipment used to not just pull but lift.  “Man up”.  This term could be used to challenge a person to take responsibility…it could also describe a scissor lift, a stock picker, aerial work platform or any piece of equipment that the operator rides up to the level where the product will be handled.  The list goes on.

A good friend of mine was recently diagnosed during a doctors visit with onychocryptosis.  I don’t know how to pronounce it but it sounded pretty grim when the doctor gave her the bad news.  “How long do I have?” she asked.  The doctor replied  “As long as you like.  It’s just an ingrown toenail.”….Are We Speaking the Same Language?

— Craig Zirnheld

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