The Dictionary of Marketing and Sales Speak

Bob Leggitt | Friday, 8 July 2011 |

Welcome to the Planet Botch Dictionary of Marketing and Sales Terminology. Businesses, salespeople, ad campaigns... The things they tell us seem clear enough, but are they? Here's my interpretation of what they really mean. It's all about making a car crash sound like a Cliff Richard concert. If indeed there's any difference...

PHRASE: We’ve revolutionised our business.
MEANS:   We've axed a load of jobs.

PHRASE: We’re fine-tuned for ultra-efficient service.
MEANS:   We’re permanently short staffed.

PHRASE: New recipe!
MEANS:   Smaller.

PHRASE: New, improved recipe!
MEANS:   Smaller, with a better photo on the box.

PHRASE: Now even more delicious biscuit!
MEANS:   Now even less delicious chocolate.

PHRASE: Bigger!
MEANS:   More expensive.

PHRASE: Eight out of ten people prefer it!
MEANS:   One in five people would rather eat the revolting, sewage-flavoured muck we conducted the poll against.

PHRASE: 10% less fat!
MEANS:   10% less food.

PHRASE: Fewer calories!
MEANS:   Fewer crisps.

PHRASE: We've simplified our pricing structure.
MEANS:   We've put all the prices up.

PHRASE: Worth a look.
MEANS:   Crap.

PHRASE: Banned.
MEANS:   Worth a look.

PHRASE: Individual.
MEANS:   Exactly like everything else.

PHRASE: Totally unique.
MEANS:   Exactly like everything else.

PHRASE: Timeless design.
MEANS:   Old stock.

PHRASE: Best new design award - Blagshite magazine!
MEANS:   We pay Blagshite magazine eighty grand a year in ad fees.

PHRASE: 75% of women noticed a reduction in wrinkles!
MEANS:   75% of women didn't demand a refund within 14 days.

PHRASE: 95% of clients are happy with our service!
MEANS:   One in twenty clients lodges a complaint.

PHRASE: We've increased customer satisfaction by 8%!
MEANS:   We've made it 8% more difficult to register a complaint.

PHRASE: Just be yourself.
MEANS:   Just do what we tell you.

PHRASE: Do things your way.
MEANS:   Do things our way.

PHRASE: You're the boss!
MEANS:   No you're not!

PHRASE: A carrying system.
MEANS:   A bag.

PHRASE: Hand made.
MEANS:   Fed into the machine by a real human being.

PHRASE: New!
MEANS:   Long forgotten.

PHRASE: Less than the cost of a take-away per week!
MEANS:   Ten grand per decade.

PHRASE: It could be you!
MEANS:   Pigs might fly.

PHRASE: Yes, it's true!!
MEANS:   No, it's not!!

PHRASE: It's the product everyone's talking about / everyone wants!
MEANS:   If that were true, would we really be spending five hundred grand on an ad campaign?

PHRASE: Don't waste your time shopping around.
MEANS:   Shop around.

PHRASE: It's part of our 'specialist range'.
MEANS:   We don't sell it.

PHRASE: Special offer!
MEANS:   We can't sell it.

PHRASE: We've completely sold out.
MEANS:   We only ordered one.

PHRASE: Would make a great gift!
MEANS:   No sane being would ever want this for themselves.

PHRASE: Our lifetime commitment to your product.
MEANS:   45 years of service charges.

PHRASE: There's more bacteria on your computer keyboard than in your lavatory!
MEANS:   Our chief scientific advisor has been drinking the cleaning solution.

PHRASE: Under new management.
MEANS:   My brother's been locked up.

PHRASE: Absolutely nothing is better.
MEANS:   You're better off with absolutely nothing.

PHRASE: Individually designed, based on your needs!
MEANS:   Exactly the same as the one everyone else gets.

PHRASE: Consultant.
MEANS:   Salesperson.

PHRASE: Customer Service Advisor.
MEANS:   Salesperson.

PHRASE: Personal Finance Manager.
MEANS:   Salesperson.

PHRASE: It's just a courtesy call.
MEANS:   I'm selling insurance.

PHRASE: It's okay, I'm not selling anything.
MEANS:   I'm selling insurance.

PHRASE: Hi, I'm ringing from the service department.
MEANS:   Hi, I'm ringing from the sales department, and I'm selling insurance.

PHRASE: Trust me.
MEANS:   ... As far as you could throw me.

PHRASE: Relax!
MEANS:   Read everything twice.

PHRASE: If you sign now I can knock off 40%!
MEANS:   Get your solicitor to read everything twice.

PHRASE: Obey your instincts.
MEANS:   Call the police.

PHRASE: To be honest...
MEANS:   Brace yourself...

PHRASE: ...And that genuinely is the truth.
MEANS:   In contrast to everything else I've told you.

PHRASE: Staff training in progress.
MEANS:   The staff are eating crisps and reading an internal memo entitled 'Why the f*** do I bother?"

PHRASE: The last thing I want is to pressure you.
MEANS:   I'm not leaving 'til you've bought it.

PHRASE: I would highly recommend this brand.
MEANS:   This one pays the highest commission.

PHRASE: Our product of the week!
MEANS:   500% markup.

PHRASE: Our product of the month!
MEANS:   750% markup.

PHRASE: Our product of the year!
MEANS:   We virtually nicked this.

PHRASE: Gentle comedy.
MEANS:   Not remotely funny.

PHRASE: Police drama.
MEANS:   Comedy.

PHRASE: We probably have some.
MEANS:   We don't have any.

PHRASE: I'm pretty sure.
MEANS:   I have absolutely no idea.

PHRASE: Numbers strictly limited!
MEANS:   We've got about four billion.

PHRASE: 70% of customers were less constipated after two weeks.
MEANS:   Well they would be anyway, wouldn't they?

PHRASE: We're waiting for your call!
MEANS:   Sorry, none of our advisors are available at present.

PHRASE: Allow at least 28 days for delivery.
MEANS:   We're still looking for someone to manufacture it.

PHRASE: Terms and conditions apply.
MEANS:   You know all that stuff we said was free?... Well you gotta pay for it.

Posted by: Bob Leggitt


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