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The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 23, 2016 • Issue 16:05:02


Word play your way to success

A unique facility for complex verbal language is one of the things that set human beings apart from other mammals. And word games are a tool people use to entertain and educate. Acrostics, for example, are excellent in aiding the retention of useful or inspirational information.

With an acrostic, the first letters of each line, when combined, spell a word, or sometimes an acronym, that is easy to remember. We're all familiar with the acrostic KISS. In this example, each line is only one word:

  • Keep
  • It
  • Simple
  • Stupid
Paul H. Green put acrostics to good use in Good Selling!SM: The Basics. When making the point that success takes effort, he used the acrostic EFFORT. It contains sentences after each letter instead of single words, which affords the opportunity to include more information or instruction. Using sentences does, however, make the acrostic more difficult to remember, so there's a tradeoff:

  • Encourage your prospects to voice their buying concerns.
  • Find new perspectives and ways of approaching a situation.
  • Force yourself to work harder than others.
  • Overestimate the competition.
  • Realize your decision-making power. Make a decision, and if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out! Learn from it and move on.
  • Take pride in your work.

Acrostics for challenging situations

Green offered another acrostic for times when you're meeting with a high-level executive and in danger of forgetting the basics of selling because you're caught up in the importance of the person you're facing. "If you start to get flustered or intimidated by the stature of the person, all you need to do is remember to put out your RADAR," Green wrote.

  • Respect everyone you come in contact with, from the person who answers the phone, to the parking attendant, the receptionist, the secretary and the executive.
  • Ascertain the names of all the key employees and their assistants.
  • Do your homework on the industry. Find out about this particular company's goals and future plans, and demonstrate that you understand their problems. Most importantly, make your service part of those plans and show you can solve those problems.
  • Avoid time wasters such as catch phrases or jokes to get the conversation started. Instead, ask for opinions on a current event in the industry.
  • Refrain from using jargon or trying to sound like an expert in the industry by using big words and technical phrases.

So, next time you come across an idea you want to remember, why not come up with an acrostic of your own? Here's one I just created:

  • Be
  • Enterprising
  • And
  • Stand
  • Tall
end of article

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