The Words and Phrases That Kill Sales

by | 4 minute read

 5 land­mines to avoid step­ping on

Have you ever stopped to think if some of the words and phras­es that you use may be pre­vent­ing prospects from buy­ing your prod­ucts or hir­ing you for your ser­vices?

Some every­day lan­guage may seem harm­less, but at a sub­con­scious lev­el, it may be pre­vent­ing prospects from doing busi­ness with you. These every­day words are either deal seal­ers or deal steal­ers.

Watch your lan­guage.” I heard my par­ents use this phrase when I used unac­cept­able lan­guage. Even as adults this mes­sage still applies. As busi­ness own­ers and sales­peo­ple, we should always be “watch­ing our lan­guage” in a sales sit­u­a­tion. Care­ful­ly choos­ing the right words at the right time can mean the dif­fer­ence between a sale or no sale, deal or no deal.

Becom­ing a lean, mean, sell­ing machine means rid­ding your­self of the words and phras­es that repel buy­ers. It means free­ing your­self from the lan­guage that dimin­ish­es your pow­er and decreas­es your cred­i­bil­i­ty. Start speak­ing the lan­guage of sales suc­cess.

I know that I have said some stu­pid things on a sales call; some­times sub­tle and some­times overt. I now watch my lan­guage and train oth­ers to watch theirs as well.

The fol­low­ing lan­guage and word land­mines must be banned from your sales vocab­u­lary.

The next time one of these top state­ments start to come out of your mouth, stop, bite your tongue and find some­thing bet­ter to say.

Did I catch you at a good time?” These days, there’s no such thing as a good time to talk. The only way there will ever be a good time is when you say some­thing rel­e­vant that piques a customer’s inter­est. Oth­er­wise, you will be greet­ed with a, “no, this is not a good time to talk.” Get in their world, know their issues and speak to their prob­lems. Then, it will always be a good time to talk.

I know you’re busy, so I won’t take up much of your time.”  Yes, you will. You already wast­ed their time with that line. You can have all the time in the world if you’re talk­ing about their issues and prob­lems instead of push­ing your prod­ucts and solu­tions. They may be busy, but I bet they will be will­ing for you to take their time if you are fix­ing their prob­lems.

In my opin­ion.” Most of the time, your opin­ion isn’t nec­es­sary for a sales sit­u­a­tion. Unless peo­ple ask for it, don’t give it. Sure, you can make rec­om­men­da­tions and offer sug­ges­tions, but nev­er offer your opin­ion unless one is solicit­ed. A bet­ter way of get­ting per­mis­sion to give advice is to say some­thing like, “Many of my clients have encoun­tered some­thing sim­i­lar. Are you inter­est­ed in the way we han­dled it?”

Trust me or to be hon­est with you.” Those are real deal killers. State­ments like that give peo­ple the impres­sion that you haven’t been com­plete­ly upfront or you have some­thing to hide. When you use phras­es like that it sends a mes­sage that, you’re try­ing to con­vince your cus­tomer instead of let­ting them dis­cov­er why you’re the best option. Why should you have to tell some­one to trust you or that you're hon­est? Start by being hon­est and dis­play­ing trust.

I’m not try­ing to sell you any­thing.” Then why are you call­ing them? That sounds pho­ny and tacky and will result in a lost sale. Pick up the phone, have a pur­pose, craft a great mes­sage, and then you may be able to get to the next step and secure a meet­ing.

Always be search­ing for bet­ter ways to say things in the sales con­ver­sa­tion. This bad lan­guage is a sure­fire way to annoy your prospect and poten­tial­ly lose a sale. Watch­ing your lan­guage will require effort on your part to ensure you are not using words and phras­es that turn buy­ers off and lead to anoth­er lost sale.

Liz Wendling is the author of two books (and count­ing):  The Unstop­pable Busi­ness Woman and Every­one Sells Some­thing; a colum­nist for Col­orado Biz Mag­a­zine; and one of the first nation­al­ly cre­den­tialed facil­i­ta­tors for Napoleon Hill Mas­ter­mind groups. Learn more at lizwendling​.com.

Liz Wendling
Liz Wendling, Sales Strate­gist and Social Sell­ing Coach assists indi­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies on how to make a pro­found dif­fer­ence in the way they sell and com­mu­ni­cate with their poten­tial clients. Her insight will get you sell­ing com­fort­ably and suc­cess­ful­ly. Peo­ple hire Liz to put their sales rev­enues back on track and start earn­ing the mon­ey they deserve and desire.people in dis­cov­er­ing their own sig­na­ture sell­ing style that is com­fort­able for them­selves and the cus­tomer. Her exten­sive busi­ness and sales back­ground and a pas­sion for help­ing peo­ple suc­ceed has led her to be rec­og­nized as one of the top sales and busi­ness coach­es around. Whether it is for one-on-one con­sult­ing, group coach­ing, mul­ti­ple day train­ing or work­shops, Liz will work with you to cus­tomize pro­grams around your spe­cif­ic needs, chal­lenges and objec­tives. She is enter­tain­ing, infor­ma­tive and fun and will push you to become your best.