In the sales profession, words are vital, and your choice of words and phrases can significantly impact your image. “Just like body language, those around you can read between the lines to gauge your true feelings, despite what you intend to communicate,” writes Diane Gottsman for Inc.com. Words have power. "Paying close attention to the words you choose is in your best interest.” In her article, she shares 12 phrases and words that you may want to avoid, a few of which are below:
- Yeah. Who would have thought that this simple, everyday word should be avoided? The reason is simple: It’s flaky and casual. Come across as confident and assertive by giving a firm “yes” when speaking with others. By avoiding casual slang, you are elevating your presence in the eyes of the listener.
- Need. The word “need” implies deficiency, so consider replacing it with a phrase or word that instead suggests enthusiasm and ambition. For example, instead of saying “I need to learn more,” say, “I would love to learn more.” This simple switch changes your position from needy to interested.
- No problem. While saying “no problem” is universally used as a response to being thanked, Gottsman believes that a heartfelt “you’re welcome” sounds more mature, genuine and professional.
- Profanity. No matter how comfortable you may feel with a client, prospect or colleague, profanity should be avoided. “Even in a laid back workplace, don't allow the environment to set the standard for your language,” she writes. “Think about the potential red flag your speech may signal, as well as the corporate culture.”
Language is one of the many ways that salespeople can present a polished image. By speaking thoughtfully, and avoiding these not-so-professional words, you can further establish yourself as a professional in others’ eyes and communicate more effectively.