Words to Avoid When Selling

Joe Weinlick
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If you're like other sales professionals, you probably read a variety of sales tips that are designed to help you develop a successful sales strategy. While many sales tips are effective, they tend to focus on what you should say to a potential customer instead of telling you what words to avoid. Any time you're trying to close a deal, it's important to choose your words carefully. However, there are some words you should avoid like the plague—unless you want your customers to run toward your nearest competitor.


When you're reading different sales tips and trying to develop a sales strategy, it's important to consider the words you're using to describe your products. Some words, like exciting and innovative, are used so much that they have little meaning to your customers. Instead of using vague descriptive words, consider using more specific adjectives that are geared toward your product.


Numerous sales tips also advise you to use action words, like discount or money-back guarantee, to entice your customers to buy your products. Unfortunately, these words tell your customer two things. First, you're flexible on your price, and second, you don't really believe in your product. If you want to sell a product or service, skip words that remind you of late-night infomercials.


It's common for buyers to carry their emotions on their sleeves. Because of this, most sales tips you read tell you that you need to gain a buyer's trust. While this theory does have a lot of truth to it, one of the worst things you can do to gain a person's trust is use the word honestly. The second you say honestly to a potential customer you imply that everything you've said up to that point is a lie. If you're trying to build a good rapport with a potential customer, you should also avoid words like opportunity, quota, and commission. Any words that imply that you're only interested in your commission show your potential customers that their needs are not your top priority.


You often see sales tips that tell you to ask open-ended questions. It's important that you avoid using closed-end questions when you talk to a potential customer because a closed-end question allows that person to use no as an answer, and it puts the customer in control of the conversation. To complete a sale, you want to remain in control, and to do that, you need to ask open-ended questions.


Learning how to talk to potential customers is the first step to any successful selling strategy. Whether you're selling a product or a service, sales tips will tell you that communication is the key to your success.


(Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net)


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