Skip the Jargon When Selling Cars


Anyone who is an expert in his or her field or who has a passion for what they do knows how difficult it can be to tone down the jargon when they’re asked questions. There’s something about jargon that provides a small endorphin rush in some. For one, there’s the veneer of sophistication that it lends to what’s being said. Language also fosters a powerful group identity.

Of course, your customers aren’t part of that group and aren’t looking to become experts. They just want a car: the best they can get for the money they believe they can get it for. Breaking out the latest in corporate sales speak is not going to endear them to you for several reasons.

Us vs Them

As mentioned above, jargon fosters group identity. From families to friendship circles to organizations, a shared language unique to the unit signals membership. While this might be good for interdepartmental bonding at your dealership, you really don’t want to be signaling to customers that they’re outsiders. Trust comes with open, plain communication.

You Sound Less Knowledgeablejargon

Additionally, jargon often sounds empty and meaningless to someone unfamiliar with your usage, upending your credibility. Cramming a ton of jargon into your pitch will make it sound like you’re covering up for what you don’t know or understand.

Being able to take complex car information, from features to pricing to add-ons, and explaining them in words every customer can access will make you sound more knowledgeable and can close the deal faster.

You May Be Less Knowledgeable

A wise man once said that if you can’t say something simply then you probably don’t understand it. While you may have understood what certain jargon meant when it was first introduced, often specialized words develop their own meanings after many uses, to the point that you may not fully understand what you mean anymore. Keeping the way you speak when selling simple combats this problem, ensuring that you always do know what you’re talking about.

Customers Are Afraid of Jargon

Dealers today are at the forefront of driver education. Despite the fact that customers are increasingly on board with advanced technology in cars, there are certain features, like those that are autonomous, that they remain wary of.

As a dealer, your job is to demystify the new tech and functions. Even though jargon may fit perfectly when describing what a new button does, it only compounds the fear surrounding what’s unfamiliar. Breaking things down in simple talk clears away the strangeness and drives home sales.

If you find that you’re addicted to jargon, here are a few tips to help you clean out your word box.


  • If a word is not in the dictionary, don’t use it. If Merriam Webster doesn’t recognize it, chances are your customers will be scratching their heads.
  • Add analogies to your pitches. Colorful examples to illustrate your points, especially comparison ones like analogies, help make things clearer for customers to understand new ideas.


Run your pitches by others outside the field. Ask a significant other or friend who doesn’t sell cars if they can follow your pitch. If they can, great! If not, it’s time to tone down the jargon.