Words To Use, and Words to Avoid

By , Queen of Cold Calling

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Wendy Weiss - Queen of Cold Calling

What do the words that you use say about you?

As a sales professional, you want to convey confidence and authority. You always want your prospect or your customer to see you as an expert in your field, as someone who is credible and someone who is knowledgeable. Sometimes, the words you use or the way you use them get in the way.

Have you ever started a conversation with a prospect or customer with the phrase “I’m just calling…”?

That little word “just” is an apology. It says that your call is not important and that what you have to say is not important. Delete it from your vocabulary immediately. Simply tell your prospects and customers why you are calling. That is enough.

“I believe that….”

“I think that….”

“I know….”

Who would you rather listen to — someone who believes or thinks she knows something—or someone who simply knows it? The phrases “I believe” and “I think” detract from your message. They make you sound hesitant and unsure. Prospects are usually hesitant and unsure about buying from people who are hesitant and unsure.

“Once we have completed… we will hopefully achieve…”


No one pays you to “hopefully” do something. They pay you to actually do it. Tell your prospects or customers what they will achieve or should expect to achieve.

Once you’re ready to close the sale, mention your ‘letter of ‘agreement’ or simply your ‘agreement.’ Avoid the word ‘contract.’ That word conjures up pictures of long, complicated, difficult paperwork, haggling attorneys and more expense. An ‘agreement’ is so much easier. And speaking of ‘easy:’ always use ‘easy.’ Never, ever say that your product or service is ‘difficult,’ even if it is. In that case you can say, ‘We’ll make it easy for you.’

The same thing goes for the word ‘simple.’ Use it. Always avoid the words ‘difficult’ or ‘hard.’ Nobody wants to buy products or services that are difficult or hard.

When asking your open-ended questions, simply ask who, how, what and why. Do not say: ‘May I ask you a question?’ This question gives up your control of the conversation. With this question you are asking permission. You don’t need permission to ask questions. Talk to your prospect about ‘owning’ your product. The word ‘own’ will help your prospect visualize herself with your product and using your product.

You can also use the word ‘invest’ in place of the word ‘buy.’ For example: ”When you invest in (the product/service).” Use the word ‘investment’ instead of ‘price.’ Another example: rather than saying, “The price is ___,” say, “Your investment will be _____.” This phrasing helps prospects see the value of your offering.

While there may certainly be individual cases where the above rules do not apply, paying attention to and being conscious of your choice of words will only strengthen your sales process.

It may take some time and practice before you are fully comfortable with these changes, but it will be time well spent when you see the difference in the way your customers and prospects respond. Your words are the building blocks that you use to motivate and persuade. Make sure they are the very best words that you have at your disposal.

Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling & Selling Success, is a sales trainer, sales coach and author. She helps entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals gain confidence, reach more prospects, close more sales and make more money. She started her business 15 years ago, representing clients on the telephone and setting new business appointments. While Wendy no longer "dials for dollars" (except for her own business), all of her workshops, seminars, products and individual sales coaching are based on practical, real-life, hands-on experience. She has been featured in BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power,Target Marketing and various other business and sales publications. Her e-mail newsletter, Opening Doors & Closing Sales has an international readership and her columns are syndicated to 168 different print and Internet publications.

© Copyright 2010 Wendy Weiss

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