Your Selling Vocabulary: Avoid Using These Words

Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospector

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

When you contact current or prospective customers are you careful about what you say?

Phone calls or F2F meetings can be quickly derailed if you use words or phrases that distract, confuse or annoy.

Here’s some examples:

  1. Asking “are you the decision maker? The question sounds dumb and normally you’ll get a dumb response too. The other risk is they’ll say they are, when they aren’t and vice versa as a cop-out to avoid your close. With a little research you can uncover the hierarchy or try asking “can you explain your decision-making process?
  2. Saying “I’d like to tell you about our company”. Remember it’s not about you, it’s all about the customer. They don’t care about you or your company, they do care about how you can help. Given most customers can do their own research they will already have decent working knowledge about you.
  3. Using jargon. You might be absolutely comfortable with industry phrases or acronyms but is your customer? Instead of jargon use everyday words because the minute you confuse someone they turn off. If they turn off they stop paying attention. If they stop paying attention, you lose the opportunity to sell. 
  4. Saying “but”. It’s a negative word in the mind of most adults. What did mum or dad say when we were kids? “You can go play with your friends, BUT…….” There’s always a sting in the tail when you use it. Linking words “however” or “and” are better.
  5. Asking “do you want to save money? It’s a confrontational question that insults the prospect’s intelligence making them less likely to want to do business with you. On top of that, it doesn’t provide you with any useful information because it’s got nothing to do with a genuine needs discovery.
  6. Using outdated words or phrases. A few come straight to mind; “cyberspace” and “information superhighway”. It’s 2018! Words that sound corny or dated reflect poorly on you.

If you want some more ideas on what not to say, particularly on the phone, have a look at the HubSpot post “12 Obnoxious Sales Phrases That Make Prospects Hang Up on You

Words have power; we all know that. Use the ones that drive engagement, conversations and relationship. Avoid the ones that slow you down.

Until next week, good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]