Words That Will Galvanise Your Sales Pitch (And Words That Won’t!)

So, you have a killer product and have researched your prospect thoroughly.  You’re scrubbed up and looking your best and your breath is minty fresh.  You are ready to deliver your sales pitch and know not to give a monologue.  You will stand back when appropriate and listen to the other party when they’re talking.  However, you can add a little more chutzpah to your pitch by deploying a few buzz words and phrases…

While there aren’t really any magic words that are guaranteed to press every single one of your prospects’ buttons and get them opening up their wallets, there are ways you can use your words to make the likelihood of a sale more probable.

Make an Impression with These Words…

Use the other person’s name:  A person’s name is the single most important word in their dictionary, and intimately tied to who they are.  Using their name demonstrates that you are thinking about them and see them as more than just a number.  It is all part of making your client feel important.  If you’re unsure about this, just think about how valued you feel when people remember your name.

You: Selling is about you not them. Demonstrate this by using the word “you” as much as possible. Just like mentioning their name, it makes prospects feel they are the focus of your attention.

Talk about benefits not specifications: Customers do not want to listen to a long list of specs, they want to know how your product or service is going to help them solve their problems.

Talk about value creation not about cost or price: What do you think when you hear the word “cost”?  More than likely you imagine your wallet taking a hit.  The same is true of your clients and it’s a negative image that can harm your deal.  Therefore, concentrate your words on the value of the solution to the buyer.

Imagine: This is a fabulous word because it encourages the user to create their own story in which they are the protagonists.  Stories stick in our minds better and when a prospect can envision a product addressing their needs, their desire to own it may increase.

Use emotive words: Studies such as those by marketing professor Raj Raghunathan and Ph.D. student Szu-Chi Huang of the McCombs School of Business, have demonstrated that most of our purchasing decisions are based on emotions not logic. Therefore, use words that will help to make the client happier, safer, smarter, more attractive and so on, depending on their needs and the product you are selling.

Use the customer’s own words:  Rephrasing exactly what the client needs not only demonstrates you were listening to them (always a good thing), but when delivered with confidence, gives them the assurance that you are in control and will be able to deliver exactly what they want.


And…here are some of the worst offenders to avoid:

“Look, I want to be honest/straight with you”:  Why the heck would you want to say this to anyone?  If you are honest, there should be no need to draw attention to it.  Doing so makes you come across like a dodgy second-hand car salesman and will undo all your good work.  It implies that you have been less than honest earlier in your conversation.  Your words, warmth and natural style should be enough.

“I can give you a cast iron guarantee”:  Nothing in life is a cast iron guarantee no matter how good a product or service may be.  Don’t set yourself up for a colossal fall by promising something that you may not be able to deliver.  After all, despite your ‘guarantee’ products can fail through nothing more than sheer bad luck.  And in any case, how many times have you been guaranteed something, only to be let down?  It is a meaningless word.

“Let me speak with my manager”:  You must be the font of all knowledge and have authority to make key decisions related to your pitch.  If you have to trot out this phrase the other person is going to wonder why they are talking to you at all.

Of course it may be that on occasion, you genuinely do not know an answer.  In which case, think of alternative phrases, such as: “That’s a great question for our technical department.  Let me check in with them and get back to you with the best solutions”.   Exude confidence and leave the other person in no doubt that you are on top of it.

“Err”: Nobody wants to hear “umms” and “errs”.  They are distracting and could kill your credibility.  One or two is fine of course, but if your conversation is littered with them, you are in trouble.  You will be in danger of coming across like you are unsure about what you’re talking about.  When you disrupt your fluency, doubts are raised in the other person.  You must be clear and radiate confidence in your conversations.

“Obviously” and “basically”:  Often, people will use these as linking words in a conversation, implying no real meaning.  They are just a way to connect sentence “a” with sentence “b”.  However, in a sales pitch, these could be seen as condescending as though you think the other person doesn’t have the wherewithal to follow what you’re saying.

As a salesperson, communication is your most valuable tool, but don’t undermine yourself by lapsing into words and phrases that push clients away.  Banish them from your vocabulary to enhance your performance and close more deals.

Word are Your Power

Being a salesperson, words are your friend and your power, and you need to choose them carefully.  But remember, the sales pitch is not about you, it’s about your clients.  So in summary, pick the right words, talk a little less and make everything about your customers.

Follow the advice above to help make your pitches more effective and to improve your success rate.

Best of luck everyone!


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