Move Sales Conversations Forward by Avoiding Weak Words in Sales

The words we think, write and speak all have an impact.  Top sales performers understand how to avoid weak words in sales during their sales conversations.


Weasel Words of Live

Years ago one of my coaches, David Herdlinger, in a presentation talked about the “weasel words.” These words included:

  • Could of
  • Would of
  • Should of
  • Try
  • Maybe
  • Might

Later I added these two words to that least especially when having meaningful sales conversations:

  • Think
  • Yes (or Yeah), but

Other words that are considered weak words in sales range from “just” or using a negative word instead of a positive one.

Add Emotional Intelligence to Your Sales Conversations

Emotional intelligence is a proven leadership skill.  The words we speak often reflect our emotional intelligence or lack thereof.  One of the more weak emotionally intelligent words is “need.”  How often have we heard in a sales conversation the salesperson may a statement such as “you need to do this” or “you need to consider this?”

The word “need” is loaded with implied negative judgment and is potentially insulting to the listener. What happens is a subconscious, almost visceral reaction to this word of need. Top sales performers recognize they require positive reactions to their sales conversations not negative ones.

What would make more sense is to replace the word with a phrase  such as “Possibly you may wish to consider this?”  First, the word possibly opens up the mind and gives the other person an implied option.  Second, “may” is a word of respect and one of asking permission instead of telling someone.  Third, the word “wish” again leaves an open decision in the hands of the listener.  Finally “consider” is a word of reason and intellect and not an emotionally negatively charged word.

Silence and Sales Conversations

Avoiding weak words in sales can just be as simple as remaining silent.  In sales, silence is golden, but more importantly green.  Many times silence in and by itself at the right time will move the sales conversation to conclusion and increase sales.  Sometimes a simple request of “Where do we go from here?”  followed by total silence is all it takes to earn the sale.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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