I realize that every business has its own lingo. For example, at car dealerships, we say things that might not make sense to other people.
Under water = Negative equity
Money on the back end = Money made in finance
Money on the front end = Money made in Sales
Units = Cars
Floor plan = Line of credit
Light unit = Pretty much anything that isn’t a semi-truck
Plate = License plate
Trades = Swapping cars with other dealerships
Prep = Detailing = Cleaning the car
In the box = Getting in to be financed
Waiter = Vehicle with a customer waiting on the repairs in the lounge
Flat rate, turning hours, and beating the clock = How we pay Service Technicians
Zoomers = Cash deals under $6K
Spinning Paper = Financing a deal
Left it on the table = You gave up money on the deal.
Bob can’t close a paper bag. = Bob sucks.
The Deal = The Strip Club
It took me five years to figure out that last saying. I truly thought they were talking about fun car deals. Which… duh.
For the most part, when we speak to each other, we keep it real. And we don’t have a new word for every word that comes out of our mouth. Even though we have many people on staff with higher education degrees and in-depth certifications, we also don’t try to use big words just for the sake of using them to sound smart.
But some of you (and I know this because I spent time listening to your CFO and COO talk on a flight from Detroit to Newark), some of you need to be punched in the throat with your corporate jargon. You actually sound stupider. Yes, stupider.
Meredith Soleau was supposed to be a famous country singer, but her parents made her go to college and major in something “real.” She graduated with a B.S. in Business from the University of Toledo, and landed a gig as a Human Resources Director at a large car dealership in Ohio. After eight years of HR at a car dealership, she burned out, decided to sell cars herself, and has since launched her agency, where she specializes in finding blue-collar workers. Clearly she has plenty of stories. But the best stories are probably about Meredith, herself. Read them on her personal blog, meredithsoleau.com, where she holds nothing back.