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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Highlights from Techmanity 2014 (part 1 of 2)     MARKETING SNIPPETS: The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. -Ayn Rand     GRANNYISM #29: Don't swallow your gum.~via SweetLeaf

Spam can be interesting sometimes, if you take a moment to peruse it a bit. While so much of it is absolutely useless, and a complete waste of time and bandwidth for everyone involved, there nevertheless can be noteworthy aspects to it. Today I'd like to touch on one of the more memorable aspects of all sales training courses -- specific phrases designed to make manipulating others more comfortable for the sales person.

In browsing the spam email received, shown above, note the interesting way they've chosen to phrase the "unsubscribe" button. Instead of "unsubscribe" (which arguably functions as a directive to the reader to go ahead and click, thus ending the chain of communications), they've used the more salesy term "circle back." I want to talk about the phrase itself in a second, but as a side-note, this particular unsubscribe link also carries a certain implication that, if the recipient does not click it, then further unsolicited communication is a-okay.

"Circle back" is one of those golden phrases that seasoned sales wankers employ constantly. It's valuable to them because it actually means "contact you *again* to continue this pointless sales cycle, thus wasting everyone's time even further". But, it conveniently avoids the pain of that truth by encapsulating that whole message into one of those ubiquitous, trite office-speak expressions. Not only that, but because it fits in so well with so much of the hollow language employed in Corporate America, it somehow benefits from a certain almost-validation, a psychological phenomenon whereby, if one speaks the language, one is perceived as legitimate.

In fact, this is the same legitimacy that corporate leaders themselves enjoy when "selling" concepts to staff and others. Sports metaphors come readily to mind, of course -- taking the ball and running with it, dropping said ball, knocking said ball out of the park, hiding the ball, passing the ball... gee, there are so many balls in the business world.

When I used to attend business seminars, the topic of closing would arise and, invariably, some executive would point out that, aside from whatever philosophy the sales consultant had laid out thus far being well and good, he or she was still painfully uncomfortable in actually sealing the deal. Specifically, this boiled down to the executive simply not knowing how to phrase things without saying something monumentally awful-yet-true like: "We want do do work for you and get paid for it ... so, uh, can we do that now?"

In the end, the consultant would usually empower said executive-attedees with his or her version of easy-to-utter and easy-to-remember phrases tailored for these situations. Most of these are widely available on the Internet for free, of course. Here's a decent example -- 11 Closing Phrases That Seal a Sales Deal -- from a blog at HubSpot. So, if you're in need of some of these phrases ... well, go read that, and then circle-back here for more pontification from this site.

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