Selling Skills: Words That Will Doom a Sale
March 1, 2018 by Richard Fischer

Cartoon man crying at decreased sales

We have all heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” However, at least in many cases, this just is not true. There are actually words and phrases that can doom your chance of making a sale.

These are just a few examples of words that will cause your sale conversion rates to plummet: 

  • “Discount” – While every customer wants to save money, dropping this word during a sales conversation can actually reduce the likelihood of you closing the sale. It tends to cheapen the product or service and its appeal. Do high-end stores or retailers (Apple, for example) ever advertise with discounts?
  • “Buy” – It may sound obvious but be sure to avoid using the word “buy” when talking to a client. While you do want them to buy, nobody wants to be sold to. Therefore, it is your job to convince them that they need your product or service without the customer realizing it. Use words like “secure” or “invest” to entice your client to buy.
  • “Contract” – Using the word “contract” seems to drive those with a fear of commitment heading for the hills. Instead, try to use words such as “paperwork” or “agreement” to lessen the blow.
  • “Perfect” – While it is okay to use every once in a while, “perfect” sets up rather unattainable ideas in the customers head and can drive them away. Repetition of this word can undermine the meaning you are trying to convey, as things are rarely (if ever) perfect in real life.
  • “Payment” – This is a word that can set off alarms for many customers and will scare them away. Instead of saying something like, “The monthly payment for the service is $5,000,” say that the “amount” for our service is $5,000. It will not trigger as many red flags that way.
  • “Competitor” – Sometimes using the word “competitor” in a sales conversation can make it seem like you look at the sale like a game against another rival company to the customer. This can also make them feel like you are trying to outdo another company instead of focusing on their needs.
  • “Thing” – Using “thing” in a conversation can come across as flippant or like you are not fully sure of what you are talking about. Rather than calling a service or product a “thing,” refer to it as a benefit or something positive. 

Salespeople must learn how to ask their customers the right questions with the right vocabulary if they want to be able to sell with power. Would you like to improve your selling abilities? Our Socratic Selling Skills® training can help you learn how to increase your close rates. Contact us today to learn more about our full training offering!