How confident are you in your sales dialogue?

Even the best, most accomplished salespeople know there are some simple words and phrases that can instantly turn off a potential buyer. In a role that’s based on getting people to trust the words they say, salespeople all too often use words with empty meanings that can jeopardize their relationships with prospects. This not only causes prospects to pull back, but it could end up sabotaging the deal.

Here is a list of words and phrases salespeople should avoid and the replacements that can be used instead.

Avoid: “Trust me” or “To be honest with you”

Replace with: Examples of experience and expertise

These phrases create doubt and raise red flags to your buyers about your overall trustworthiness. Begging for trust makes it sound like information was being withheld or that the customer had a reason not to trust you before. Instead, always be genuine and upfront while building positive rapport and delivering value. Your trustworthiness will naturally develop and show through.

Tell prospects how many years you have worked at the company or in the industry. Always be sure to mention the key skills or experiences that establish you as an expert whose opinion they can trust. Also, identifying a connection with a lead or prospect can help you build a more personalized relationship. For example, if you notice you have the same alma mater or grew up in the same town, mention it!

Avoid: “Problem”

Replace with: “Challenge”

The word “problem” can sound worrisome to a potential customer. It is a daunting word for many people and can put a negative lens on a situation that may, in fact, be easier than anticipated to overcome.

To avoid this, substitute problem for challenge. When speaking with a customer, you want to make the conversation sound positive with a forward-thinking focus. By identifying something as a challenge versus a problem, you have the opportunity to present proactive and long-term solutions.

Avoid: Clichés like “peace of mind” and “win-win”

Replace with: Specific examples that show instead of tell

Clichés are overused and no longer provide the impactful punch they once did. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. There’s nothing worse than trying to get an honest answer from someone and all you get is a cliché, cookie-cutter response that doesn’t really answer your question. As a customer, consider what you would appreciate – an honest answer.

Provide specific, relevant examples that the customer can connect with and show them, rather than tell them, that this is a win-win situation. When in doubt, use straightforward language to keep the conversation professional and honest. This will also help avoid any confusion with a lead or prospect.

Avoid: “Contract” and “payment”

Replace with: “Agreement” and “investment”

When it’s time to close the deal, contract can be an intimidating word. Replace it with agreement to sound less binding and harsh. Avoid using payment when possible, too, and switch it out for investment, which sounds beneficial from the customer’s point of view.

Salespeople are all about building relationships, so don’t let these common language blunders ruin a potentially successful deal. Simply changing the words you use with customers can dramatically alter their perception of the deal.

Do you have sales words or phrases that make you cringe?