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Top 8 Words to Avoid in Your Next Sales Pitch

Good communication is absolutely essential when it comes to selling, what you say to a prospect and how you deliver it has a big impact on their decision making. For a sales pitch to be successful you need to be confident in yourself and what you’re selling, but you need to make sure that the comfort you find in your role doesn’t turn into complacency. This is when there is the potential for our standard of language to slip, we might start throwing in a few too many buzz words, acronyms our client won’t understand and words that we don’t realise that are actually negative.

1. Honestly

Honestly is a word that implies the complete opposite of its definition to a client. When you use ‘honestly’ in your pitch it suggests that everything you said before you used that word in your pitch was a lie, or that what you’re about to say isn’t the whole truth.

2. Obviously

There are a few reasons why you should steer clear of this word, one being that it has lost its meaning and become a vague filler word that is constantly misused to start or end a point in your conversation. The main reason that ‘obviously’ should be avoided is that it can have a negative effect, it has the potential to come across as condescending or patronising to the client as it suggests that they aren’t smart enough to comprehend what you’re explaining.

3. ‘I think’

Using the phrase ‘I think’ implies that you aren’t sure about what you are saying and that you are possibly delivering incorrect information, this can make others doubt your credibility. If you aren’t completely sure about something it’s best to be completely honest and say that you don’t know but you will find out and supply them with that information.

4. Leading

Who decided that you were the leading company in your industry? ‘Leading’ has become an increasingly overused word, everyone uses it in a feat to seem the best and as a result it’s lost its power.

5. Cheap

A no-brainer, even if your product is cheap or the cheapest you shouldn’t use that word to describe it because the word ‘cheap’ is perceived as a negative word when it comes to quality. If the fact that your product is low cost is a main selling point then try using a more positive word such as ‘valuable’.

6. Innovation

Similarly to ‘leading’, ‘innovation’ is constantly overused and misused in pitches, many companies make the mistake of using this word to make them appear like they are very different from everyone else where in actual fact they aren’t all that different from their competitors. Clients will have heard this word being used time and time again by other companies and salespeople, as a result it may no longer carry any weight when it comes to their decision making.

7. Maybe

A wishy-washy non-committal word that detracts from the confidence and certainty that you work hard to put into your sales pitch, it makes it seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Similarly, you should avoid using ‘perhaps’ as it has just the same negative effect on your image to clients as ‘maybe’.

8. Prospects

You might be thinking why you should be avoiding this word when it is a very common, widely used word when it comes to sales. Well, it is totally fine to use the word prospects when talking to your colleagues but you don’t want to refer to a prospect as a prospect when you’re talking to them directly. Using this word can make them seem like a commodity, that you don’t care about them or their needs or wants and you just see them as an opportunity to make a deal and make a profit. Replace prospect with client or future client in your next pitch.

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