Phrases to Avoid When Selling

Some sales people have fallen into bad habits, or have not been adequately trained, and so unconsciously use expressions when talking with their customers that have the effect of reducing the customer's receptivity to their sales presentation rather than building it.

The following are particularly unfortunate expressions which show a lack of effective sales communication skills and are avoided by the professional sales person who has received communication training:

Negative expressions: Saying "cheap" instead of "good value", "expenditure" instead of "investment", "without risk" instead of "secure" and "expensive" instead of "high value".

Negative sentence construction: a frequent use of the negative construction can result in negative associations in your customers mind. It is better to say: "You are certainly aware that..." rather than the negative construction: "Don't you think that..."

Implied dishonesty: Suspicions about the veracity of your statements can easily be aroused by the use of phrases such as "To be honest with you...", "Quite frankly...", "To put my cards on the table..."

Insulting questions: These can lead the customer to suspect that you think he is a little simple or down-right stupid: "Do you understand?", "Is that clear?"

Over use of superlatives: Avoid the use of superlatives (such as healthiest, best, most recent etc.) unless these can really be justified. Using such words indiscriminately leads to suspicion and represent wasted negotiating time.

The mysterious approach: "A certain person told me..." If a negative point is made, the customer will certainly be provoked into asking "Who told you that?"

Misplaced condescension: "My dear fellow, I really must point out..." Even if the customer is well known to you, such expressions are out of place.

The schoolmaster approach: "Now look here...", "Have I expressed myself clearly enough?", "Now listen carefully". Customers resent being treated like children.

False modesty: "Might I perhaps disturb you for a moment?" If you really have something to offer, the word "disturb" is certainly an unfortunate choice of words.

Brush up on your sales communication skills to ensure you avoid falling into these bad habits.