I’ve been speaking with over 30 new sales reps this week and what amazes me is the power of words.
Think about it – you can choose ANY words to say as you go about your sales role, or sales leader role. You choose certain words.
Words are power - word choices close deals. Power words should replace old crutch words and filler words.
When I was young, my parents had a huge library and learning about words was a passion of mine. We have posted about word power over the years – most recently:
Sales Professionals Should NEVER Say These Words – focusing on honestly, basically, obviously, so, and UMs and Ahs. Used more than sparingly, these words will kill your credibility as a presenter.
Not too long ago I asked friends and business connections about what words or phrases bother them when people say them – here are some of them for you to compare what you say on a regular basis:
Words that Reduce the Power of What You Just Said
Kinda (or kind of)
Sorta ( or sort of)
(thanks to Melissa Munroe for those - she does presentation training by the way)
Using any of these words in a sentence reduces the power of what it is you are saying – so work to stop doing that! Catching yourself doing it is half the battle.
Hoping or Hope – I would add that hope is never a strategy in business. Be more concrete. A rep recently told me that she was “just hoping that one of her deals comes to closure.” I suggested that business does not close this way and that she better make a plan. She did, and her deal closed.
Phrases that Take the Place of “You’re Welcome”
Thinking it was just MY pet peeve, I mentioned to my colleagues about when I say “thank you” to someone – a clerk, or a server in a restaurant, and they reply with a big fat, “NO PROBLEM!” I’m not sure when that first started but it certainly is not an answer to me thanking someone.
If you are in a sales role, know that there are enough problems finding buyers and nurturing a relationship to ADD one more in. Where I thank you, there is no problem – so don’t create one. Instead, say “you’re welcome” or “my pleasure” or “certainly” to acknowledge the thank you. The same goes for “NO WORRIES!”
Be Taken More Seriously Through Your Delivery
Friends noted that some people say a sentence like a question. Marketer Britton Manasco said this about Millennial sellers: “I’m concerned about Millennial salespeople who end declarative sentences as if they were questions.
I hadn’t noticed that about younger reps – perhaps it is so. It is definitely true with some women and with some Canadian reps I work with. You lose credibility when you don’t sound sure, and if you end a sentence as a question, that does not sound confident. Whatever the cause, know that this lessens your power as a presenter.
What do you think about using the phrase, “Does that make sense?” I admit I use it but my eyes were opened when I read a string of comments in a LinkedIn sales group about how much people hate to hear that – if said in a certain way – it sounds very demeaning. “I’m so smart, I have to check to see if this makes sense to you”. I’m working on this one, but would love your input – hate it or do you say it?
Don’t underestimate the power of words in growing conversations which turn into opportunities which turn into deals that you ultimately close.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide and is a Top 25 Innovative Sales Blogger. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog for sales strategies, tactics, and tips.
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