Words that Kill your Sales

Sales trainings and books often talk about what words and phrases to use for the best influence and persuasion results. Few, if any, cover the words that kill your sale.

I’ve done work with outbound telesales, more commonly known as cold calling. Yes, those annoying people that ring at dinnertime. And it is a tough job, the callers can make upwards of 30 calls each hour to strangers. It takes a special type of person to be able to consistently just pick up the phone and dial, forget about making sales on top of that. I’ve helped many people overcome their fears and apprehension and even phobias of being able to talk to strangers, but that’s not what this article is about.

This article is about the words and phrases that will cause problems with your telephone sales, and in fact any sales. Assuming you have rapport, you have a good script, you have a good product or offer and you are able to make sales, there are a few words that you need to remove from your vocabulary. These words are like speed bumps on a freeway. These words will cause your prospect to slow down, stop, or even crash the sale.

Change – Even though change is a constant in our lives, it seems very few people like to do it. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to, on the phone and in person, want a new job, make more money, happier relationships, more fun, more free time, and everything else. However as soon as these same people realise they need to change for it to happen, they stop. As a hypnotist, I can help people gain the benefits they want from life, without the detrimental effects of change. However, I still don’t use the word…

Sold and Sell –What comes to your mind when you are sold something? Even for me it is often being forced to purchase something I don’t want or need. Very few people like to be sold. The best sales people never actually ‘sell’, or more specifically, their clients never feel sold. They feel happy and a proud to tell their friends and family about the new product or service that they own. When a woman gets home from shopping, she does not say “look what I was sold.” She says “Look what I bought.”

Buy – This word is similar to the word ‘sell’. No one likes to buy because it costs too much money. They do like to have bought and to own, however. The main word that you can replace Buy with is – own. Everyone wants to own. Owning brings with it the prestige, honour and benefits of the product. Volvo drivers own not just a car, but safety. Virgin users are part of a cool, hip club. Now you should be able to notice how the best sales people tie owning to every selling point or benefit of the product.

The next few are all from the same set that strikes fear into even the most eager prospect. Contract and Sign. Very few people want to be bound into a contract. They have images of attorneys, fees, legal proceedings and lawsuits. Almost everyone is taught to read a contract in its entirety, and be very careful about anything they sign. And if that wasn’t enough another additional fear is that every contract you sign limits your freedom in some way – even if it is in your best interests, and the benefits far outweigh the costs, no one likes to limit their freedom. So, again to assist you make more sales, use these words instead: Endorse, Paperwork, Approval and Agreement.

Another speed hump in almost all sales is the price. Everyone has their own way of handling the most common objection of price. And the best sales people never use these listed words because they know about the negative effects. They know that when their prospect hears the words the wallet is locked shut. So remove these words: Payment, Cost and Price.

Of course every sale needs to discuss price somewhere, so different ways to describe the price are words and phrases like: Offered at, Worth, Investment, and Value.

Remove these few words from your vocabulary and your sales will increase. But don’t take my word for it; evaluate your current scripts and phrasing and if you find the words above, adjust them as appropriate and test the difference. Let me know your results!

Michael Vanderdonk - 21/7/2005


Subscribe FREE!

People rave about Toach's e-course!

Join the e-course and you will learn the mental skills to drop at least 2 shots from your game within 6 weeks!


Given name:

Family name:

Which country?

Email address: