Sales Language to Avoid

18285089151_e6860a071b_z                                                                                 Image Credit – Ant Jackson (CC License)

When we’re trying to become better salespeople we often focus on everything that we should be saying – the perfect pitch, the perfect tone of voice, the perfect language – rather than what we shouldn’t be saying.  Often, bad sales talk contains too much filler or too many buzz words, and we’re going to go into a few of those key words to keep out of your pitches – as well as words or phrases to use instead – below. Keep this post in mind next time you call a lead and you might just be pleasantly surprised.

1. Honestly  – Using the word “honestly” makes you sound like you’re being anything but. It also leaves the listener with the distinct impression that everything you just said was completely and utterly dishonest. The same thing goes for “trust me”. If you’re wondering what to say instead, try this handy hint – just be honest.  

2. Obviously – “Obviously” is a horrible, horrible word in sales. Saying “obviously” is incredibly redundant and also implies that the person or company you’re selling to is incredibly stupid, especially if they don’t already know the minutiae of what you’re discussing. Not only that, but it’s insulting, especially if you’re selling to executives. 

3. Prospects  – Although you use the term “prospects” almost all of the time when you’re discussing potential clients with other salespeople, when you use the term “prospect” when you’re actually on the phone with a prospect, you may well lose them. It makes them seem like a commodity, rather than something of value. Instead, call them “future clients” – it makes them sound like their business is already in the bag.                                                                    Image Credit – Maurizio Costanzo  (CC License)

4. Cheap – Your product might be cheap. It might be the cheapest on the market. But the second you call it cheap it instantly cheapens the perceived value of the product, so it’s important to ensure that you discuss the cost of the product using terms like “valuable” instead. 

5. Perhaps  – “Perhaps”, just like its brother “maybe”, is a non-committal word that sounds far too wishy-washy. It doesn’t show potential clients that you know what you’re talking about for sure – it makes it sound as though you have doubt. Always be completely, 100% sure of what you’re talking about and make sure that you have a guaranteed answer for every question. 

6. Sign or signature  – Discussing signs or signatures is again bringing the conversation back around to price and figures and your client parting with their money. Another alternative which works brilliantly well is to ask for their approval on the agreement, instead of the contract. This makes the whole process seem much more mutual between both parties, rather than your client simply buying something from you. 

7. Commission – Although it may be common sense that you’ll be making a commission off of the sale, you shouldn’t be discussing it with your client. You should be making absolutely no mention of the money you’ll be making should they decide to go ahead and buy a product from you – it’s uncouth, and it’ll put them off.  

Here at Virtual Sales Limited, we’re passionate about helping businesses to sell better. For more advice or to find out more about what we offer get in contact today.


Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.

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