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Say This, Not That: Influence Prospects By Swapping Words

While there’s still no magic word that will make a prospect immediately sign a contract, your selection of words can have a major impact. By subtly switching certain words and phrases with others, you can make your communications more effective, according to a Yesware article by Christine Georghiou. “…we have uncovered a few powerful words that are proven to help build rapport and boost your credibility,” she writes. “Understanding the research behind which words make people tense up and which words put them at ease could give you an edge.”

She highlights 13 common words and phrases that can easily be swapped with more effective, impactful ones. Below are a few examples:

Instead of saying “talking with,” say “speaking to.”
When the prospect answers, switching to the phrase “Am I speaking to Mrs. Smith?” implies that you are having a back-and-forth conversation and you are looking to engage in a shared conversation.

Instead of saying “decision maker,” say “decision-making process.”
Asking a prospect point blank if he or she is the decision maker opens up the possibility of being lied to and it doesn’t allow the conversation to flow. “Instead, try asking about their decision making process and who else will be participating,” Georghiou suggests. “This prompts a different type of response, making it less likely you’ll discover too late that someone else is making the final call.”

Instead of “price,” say “value.”
Take every chance to emphasize value over price. By mentioning value, you are creating a results-oriented discussion and encouraging the prospect to consider the advantages of your product or service. Example: “At this value, you get these features…” compared to “At this price, you get these features…”

Your word choice can easily make or break a deal, so it’s up to you to be thoughtful when communicating with a prospect. As the article points out, subtle swaps in your dialogue can give you more control over the conversation and more influence over the prospect.

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.