People always say that salespeople are talkers. People say that we, salespeople, can talk about anything and can talk people into anything. Correct and incorrect. Salespeople are talkers, but I have seen many salespeople screw up the deals because of only a simple mistake: using the wrong words. In another word, using wrong words is far more dangerous than talking less. A few critical words would ruin even the most eloquent sales pitch. Here are some major words and phrases you should avoid in your sales pitch and meetings.
Honestly / To be honest: You may think that using this word will show your sincerity to your prospects. However, this word is a very dangerous word for salespeople to use. Instead expressing your sincerity, this word implies that everything you have said before is not truthful. Another similar phrase such as ‘trust me’ also poses a big risk for your deal. Salespeople don’t beg for trust; they earn client’s trust. The more you use shout ‘Trust me’, the less your prospect want to trust you.
Cost / Price: Don’t use these words too many times. These words will remind your prospects of their concern: their budget. Use the word ‘investment’ instead.
Problem: This word will trigger negative reaction as it is a negative word. Use ‘challenge’, which implies a more positive meaning and solution in future.
Overusing fancy words: Prospects are very sensitive to your words about your products and services. When a salesperson tells me that his product is the most advanced, integrated, superb and cheapest product offered in the industry, I will seriously laugh away. Be careful with the fancy words such as ‘advanced, cutting edge, integrated, seamless, robust, flawless’, as overusing these words will make your prospects even more doubtful about the true quality of your products.
Cheap: Even your product is cheap, don’t use this word because your products’ quality will be easily associated with the word ‘cheap’ as well. Position your product as a valuable product. If your product has cheap price, use the word ‘competitive’ instead.
Filler words: As a way to keep the conversation to keep going, many salespeople choose the filter words. They also want to sound more friendly and personable. However, using too much filter words is distracting. These words generate noise, which will distract your prospects from thoughts. The filter words are ‘like, basically, you know, um, ah etc.’
You guys, y’all : Although these words sound very friendly and endearing, you shouldn’t use these words with your prospects. These words and other informal words may make you look totally unprofessional. Some executives really care about professionalism and they may think that you’re trying too hard to win them with your charm.