“Sell” Dinner

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(1). That hot night out with a prospect intended to close the deal.


“Hey, Tom.  Got my “sell” dinner tonight with that big hedge fund guy and I want to show him a good time.  You still got that friend over at Jiggles?  I really want this guy to leave with a smile on his face!”



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(1).  What you always call something you’ve been doing for years that you now suspect no one else does anymore, in an attempt to make it sound like they’re the ones who’ve got it wrong.


“Wait a minute…isn’t it still S.O.P. to keep a second set of books for all of the cash-only sales we close?”


Sanity Check

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(1). A suggestion made during a meeting or conference call to make sure everything being discussed makes sense (see take a step back, smell test).  “Sanity Checks” usually result in the discussion being tabled until a later date while the topic (which invairably makes no sense) is being researched further.


Sausage Making

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(1).  The process of getting a law passed by Congress.  The law will ultimately include a multitude of irrelevant and contradictory provisions, ensuring lawyers and accountants will remain employed for years to come, which was likely the goal in the first place.


“What does this provision mean, anyway?  Can I veto it?  Why can’t I veto it?  I’m the President, for Christ’s sake!  Can’t we ever get something through Congress without all the sausage making?  Maybe I’ll just declare myself President for Life…can I do that?”


Scope Creep

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(1).  The slow, silent expansion of responsibilities by an operations department or, worse, an outsourced service provider.  Scope Creep is usually only discovered after you receive an outsized bill or you realize that your job has somehow been centralized in a foreign country.


“Aren’t we a little concerned about scope creep here, Mike?  Remember what happened when we centralized our client service reps a few years ago – all of sudden we had 200 guys in Bangalore calling themselves ‘Steve from Dallas’!”


Scrape Them Off Your Shoes

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(1).  To completely forget/disregard the people who helped you advance in your career.


“Well, after John made partner, he basically scraped us off his shoes and never looked back.  So, no…I don’t think sending him your resume is worth it.”


Props to Tim P. for the submission.


Scrub The Funnel

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(1).  To bug, bother, and otherwise annoy customers who have already said their purchase decision is months away to see if you can squeeze a purchase order from them anyway.  Frequently used at month or quarter-end.


“Boy, Drew…you’ve been on the phone all day today.  Trying to scrub the funnel before comp day, eh?”


Props to Sean for the submission!


Secret Sauce

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(1).  Special skills, products or abilities that you try to make prospects believe your company has that no one else has, when in reality, everyone just sells the same crap.


“I mean, c’mon, it’s not like we have some secret sauce that makes us better than anybody else!  We sell toilet seats, for gods’ sakes!”


Sense of Urgency

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(1).  A term generally used when providing negative feedback intended to imply that a particular empolyee is lazy or takes an inordinate amount of time to complete tasks.  Over-caffeinated junior stockbrokers often use the term to describe the pace of action by other, non-commission-based areas of the firm (e.g. operations), implying that only they are truly providing adequate service to their clients (when, in actuality, all they really care about is getting paid faster).


“Hi Jim, it’s Pierce.  Hope you’re doing well.  Just wanted to check in on the hold-up with the Altman account.  You know this is a really important client to the firm and I just don’t think you’re showing the same sense of urgency we are about getting this account open.  Now, I understand today is Christmas, but…”



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(1).  (v) – The mysterious art of blending the right amount of keywords with the right amount of content so that Google will rank your website highly in the SERP’s.  It is truly the definition of tedium.


(2).  (n) – A very sad, misunderstood individual that Matt Cutts keeps picking on.


(3).  India’s chief export.


“Does anybody know what this SEO thing is?  All I got from that presentation was some crap about keywords, meta tags and Google.  And why did that guy keep saying, “Content is king”?”


Separate The Wheat From The Chaff

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(1).  To weed out the meat of a presentation (a.k.a. the quote) from all of the marketing fluff.


“This all looks great, Don.  But I’m having a little trouble separating the wheat from the chaff here.  Can you let me know where I can find the fee? … Oh, there it is – footnote 34 in Appendix K…got it.”


Serial Entrepreneur

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(1).  An unbalanced individual who cannot stop themselves from starting multiple businesses, no matter how successful (or more likely, unsuccessful) they turn out to be.  It’s very similar to how Patrick Bateman cannot stop himself from killing people and doing sit-ups.


“I’m somewhat of a serial entrepreneur.  My new venture is an upscale restaurant in midtown.  Dorsia?  No, it’s not like Dorsia.  Nobody goes there anymore.”



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(1).  An acronym for Search Engine Result Page that hip SEO’s use to make their tedious job sound cool. (it’s not)


“So you want to rank for the term “butter”.  Hmm, I’m not going to lie to you guys, there’s a lot of competition in the SERP’s for that one.  How about, “salty butter”.  That has a nice ring to it.”


Share of Wallet

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(1).  In finance, a term used to describe client assets currently managed by the firm.  Usually used during sales staff meetings to encourage employees to get their existing clients to increase the size of their relationship with the firm, often through cross-pollination.


Sharks in the Water

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(1).  The other brokers out there trying to woo your clients away from you.


“Look, Mike…we need to be picture perfect on this transaction.  There are sharks in the water circling around this client and I want to make sure we don’t give them an excuse to jump ship.”


Sharpen Our Pencils

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(1).  To refine an analysis or proposal after a client tells you to try again.  The term is typically heard during an embarrassing tap dance after the materials your new analyst prepared for the meeting ended up being a total mess.  Next time, you might want to take a peek at the book before you walk into the the meeting, champ.


“I hear what you’re saying, Peter, and we’ll go back after we break up here, sharpen our pencils and get those new estimates to you ASAP … in the meantime, any updates on our last three invoices?  Just checking…”


Shift Gears

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(1).  A racing-inspired term for changing the subject during a meeting or conference call, usually used when the discussion has drifted into uncomfortable territory for one or more participants and they wish to bring it back to a more friendly or positive topic.


“Okay, why don’t we shift gears here and get back to the holiday promotion.  I don’t like where this ‘you guys don’t pay your bills’ conversation is going.”


Shooting Star

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(1).  Someone who was involved with a client for such a short time their absence won’t be noticed.  In other words, fire away!


“Hey Mike, what’s up?  Susan’s leaving the firm?  That’s too bad.  How do I want to tell the client?  Well … I mean … Susan was more of a shooting star in the relationship, so I’m not sure we need to say anything.”


Short-Fuse Project

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(1).  An enhancement that needs to be rolled out right away because somebody important says its important.


“Okay, team.  We’ve got a short-fuse project that just came down from management.  Now, I know it’s Christmas Eve, but the boss forgot to set his out of office before leaving for Cabo, and it’s our job to get it updated before his wife figures out where he is.”



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(1).  What people do at Best Buy now.


“I’m so sick of all these people showrooming our stuff and then going and buying it on Amazon!  Don’t they realize that our expertise in helping them select the right HDMI cables to buy is worth the 40% markup?!”


Silent Partner

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(1). A mysterious individual, usually masked, who invests in a business but remains behind the scenes in order to protect their identity. This is usually because:


(a). They do not want to be associated with the product or service if it fails.


(b). They do not want to be bothered with the day to day operations of said business.


(c). They just want to be the “money guy” and make it rain.


(d). It is their brother-in-law’s “business” and their sister really needs the money.


(2). Batman.


“Hey Jesse, I got this new business idea and I’m gonna let you get in on the ground floor. It’s totally legit and you can be my silent partner. Ok, just close your eyes and think of this, “fireworks”. I can make them in my basement and no one else in New York sells em….it’s foolproof!



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(1).  To split your people into departments in order to operate more efficiently…and to get the weirdos on your staff as far away from clients as possible.


“I think we’re big enough now that we should consider silo-ing off some special functions.  Hey Sam, how would you like to run the new Copying and Printing Department?”


Silver Bullet

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(1).  A metaphoric ammunition that CEO’s, managers, and business owners alike believe can rectify a major issue a company is currently experiencing.


(2).  In their physical form, silver bullets are commonly used to eliminate werewolves….which are totally real.


“Ok, so we found the smoking gun and now we just need to find the silver bullet to fix it so we can all put this whole thing behind us.  I swear to God, this is the last time I listen to that janitor down on the third floor who moonlights as a psychic.”


Silver Surfer

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(1).  An elderly man or woman who uses the Internet to do anything a normal, youthful person would do.  Ya know, like use Bing.  Old people love Bing….and Internet Explorer, remember that?  Microsoft may have a few things to look into…


“Us older gentlemen call ourselves ‘silver surfers‘ when we look for pornography on the Internet.  Makes it sound more distinguished.”


Skeleton Crew

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(1).  A term used to describe staffing on (a) the day after Thanksgiving, (b) a Friday in August, or (c) any day on which your boss is traveling.


“Well, we’re running with a bit of a skeleton crew today, so I’m thinking you should probably call back on Monday.  Have a great weekend!”


Sleep-Well Money

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(1). Funds placed in relatively safe, income-oriented investments, intended to convince a conservative-minded client  to invest other money in much more risky (read: expensive) investment than they otherwise would.


Slow Burn

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(1).  A term used to describe something that takes a really, really, REALLY long time to show any sort of return.  Like running a website about corporate jargon.


“Well Alan, SEO is a real slow burn.  I realize that you believe everyone is looking for homemade marmalade on Google, but I don’t know if this is the right channel for you to focus on.”



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(1). (pronounced “smee”) – Subject-matter expert; used by information technology trainers to denote users who already know how to use the program for which the training is being given, identifiable by their eyes constantly drifting to their blackberries or the low-cut blouse worn by the woman sitting next to them.


Smear Campaign

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(1).  Negative ads and rhetoric designed to focus everyone’s attention on some insignificant detail of a candidate’s past (and away from his opponent’s lack of qualifications).  So, in other words, every campaign ever.


“This is ridiculous!  It’s just a blatant smear campaign by the Senator in an attempt to make it look like I cheat on my wife.  It’s disgraceful!  I only cheated on my wife that one time…last week…with my secretary…in my kid’s room.”


Smiling And Dialing

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(1). A term used by salesmen to make their job sound more pleasant when in fact they are just cold calling.  While usually used as a vote of confidence, it actually means they are nervous about hitting their numbers, and dying a little bit on the inside.


(2). The process of salesmen disturbing you at work during lunch, instead of at home during dinner.


“I’m just smiling and dialing until one hits…please dear god let one or two hit, I knew I shouldn’t have bought that boat, I live in Ohio, why did I buy a boat?!”


Smoking Gun

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(1).  A term used to identify the cause of a major problem a company is currently experiencing.  While this metaphoric firearm and the silver bullet that can remedy the situation rarely exist, business owners seem to love the chase.  In all honesty, the problem is usually due a pile of guns that the business owner has accumulated from years and years of poor business decisions.


(2).  In internet marketing, this terms is usually associated with a business owner looking for the cause of a massive drop in organic traffic due to one of Google’s jackass algorithm updates.  Thanks Matt Cutts.


“Sean, I’m just looking for the smoking gun in this situation.  I don’t understand why linking to all of these gambling and porn sites is such a bad thing.  Lot’s of people go to them, hell, I was just on one before this meeting.  That’s a strong handshake you have by the way.”



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(1).  The place where you go out to meet with someone in person instead of emailing or texting them over that new “World Wide Web” contraption.  Smiley-face emoticon!


“Look, we’re not like other firms that’ll just send you an email once in a while.  We believe in the SneakerNet, and we’re more than happy to meet with you anytime, anywhere … so long as you do at least $5 million with us, otherwise, it’s once-in-a-while emails for you.”


Socialize It

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(1). A term used as a backhanded, self-serving way to tell everyone in the company about your “great” idea.


(2). To ask around internally to get co-workers’ thoughts on a particular issue.


“Oh my god yes! Splash pages.  We need to get more splash pages up on the website…great idea I just came up with right?  Let’s socialize it and let’s see what everyone thinks.”


Soft Block

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(1).  Something you build into the system to warn those morons in the business that they are about to bring down the company by punching the wrong keys.


“Oh, don’t worry about that … we’ve put a soft block with a dialogue box before letting you change those kinds of account parameters.  Because, you know, everyone reads pop-up dialogue boxes.”


Soft Issues

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(1). In finance, a term used to describe non-financial client  services (e.g. Advising on family matters, concierge services, etc.) most of which are provided generally without compensation.



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(1).  A segment of a certain market or industry.


“Since we’re looking to penetrate the ultra-high net worth space, I think we might want to stop giving out toasters to new customers.  Oh, and we should stop calling them ‘customers’.”


Speak To

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(1).  To talk about something, or give a reply.


“I’m going to speak to this bullet point.”


“I’d like to speak to your question.”


Props to J—- for the submission.



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(1).  To lead some project or effort in hopes it gets you some sliver of recognition.  It won’t.  It will help the career of the guy who assigned it to you, though.


“Team, we’re going to focus on updating our client contact information database this summer.  Fred here has graciously volunteered to spearhead the effort.  I’ll be happy to report progress to management, of course.  In the meantime, I’ll be sailing to the Virgin Islands, but should be available on BB if anyone needs me.”


Spin Room

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(1).  The cave where campaign managers sleep before emerging to feast on America’s cable-news reporters.


“Okay, let’s take it down to the spin room where David Axelrod is busy spiking everyone’s drinks with PCP before giving us his take on tonight’s debate.”



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(1).  To spout nonsense in front of all of your co-workers on a topic you know nothing about.


“Now, I’m just spitballing here, but I think we should really consider a company mascot.  How about Cathy, the Catheter Manufacturing Stickbug.  Thoughts?”


Squish Factor

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(1).  A certain amount of flexibility in your financials.


“Yes, the numbers are looking good so far this year.  Of course, that “Projected Estimable Receivables” balance provides us with a fairly healthy squish factor in case any of the board members starts asking questions.”


Squishy Number

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(1).  A dollar amount that just may be subject to considerable interpretation.


“Yeah…I know he said he was worth a billion dollars, but I think that’s a bit of a squishy number.  We might want to make that ‘b’ an ‘m’.”



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(1).  Taking time off of work and just sitting in your house or (more likely) your apartment, instead of actually going somewhere.  This is usually due to your lack of motivation, lack of money, or (again, more likely) lack of friends.


(2).  When you take time off of work, stay at home, and try to convince yourself you’re happy to have the “quiet time at home”, when in reality, you are just too broke to go anywhere worthwhile.


“Yea I’m really looking forward to next week.  Got myself a little staycation.  Gonna catch up on the ol’ DVR, read a book, maybe even order out a few times!  I dunno, the possibilities are endless!”


Steak Lunch

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(1). A reward for reaching a client’s goals which is usually a gift certificate to your local Olive Garden or Applebees.  While you can get a steak at both of these establishments, we wouldn’t recommend it.


Step Away For A Minute

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(1).  What your secretary tells people you don’t want to talk to on the phone.


“Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. Williamson had to step away for a minute … can I take a message?  You’d like to hold?  Hmmm … perhaps I should just put you through to voicemail…”



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(1).  A term used by EMS and Fire Personnel to describe a dead body much like Chunk did in “The Goonies” to describe the dead body in the Fratellis basement freezer.


“It’s a stiiiiiiiiiiiiffffffff!!!!!!”


Props to John H. for the submission.


Stop The Bleeding

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(1). To sell, stop operating or simply stop paying for an unprofitable company or business unit in order to conserve capital for other things.