Word Usage Killing Your Sales?

Three Steps to Using Words for B2B Sales Success

I’m a big believer in using the correct words in any situation, yet, the sales situation demands better usage of words. When doing seminars or coaching sales people one thing is common. Most sales people do not choose the right words during the sales interviews.

You have to make a choice regarding your communication standards – and I assume you want to be effective in your sales communications with influencers and decision makers. If not, stop reading now and keep scratching your head wondering why people are not buying anything from you.

Okay, passive aggressive a side, you really need to think about your word usage. 

The first step is to learn about behavioral style and the words that work and don’t work for the different behavioral styles. (See Flexible Selling.com) There are words that actually turn off certain behavioral styles and they (the buyer) stops listening or tunes you out. This is a costly mistake to make and is easily overcome – if you learn about behavioral style and behavioral based selling.

The corporate gods have a major sense of humor and have made it possible for behaviorally opposite people to have to interact in the sales and buying processes. Now, the sales people who have learned behavioral selling or Flexible Selling know how to flex their style and words when dealing with behavioral opposites. They flex to gain rapport, interact and make sales – while the sales people with no idea how to flex are using adversarial or combative techniques taught in the mid twenty century. It is time to wake up and learn how to use style correctly.

The second step is to use researched based words for specific types of business job positions or titles. This information can assist you in connecting to people at all levels of the organization. What am I talking about you might ask? Well, I was privileged enough to work with a very smart business researcher who discovered that each and every job position had certain personal priorities or reasons for making the decisions they choose. Okay, confused? So was I early on. Let me tell you how it impacted me.

I first learned about this research through a consulting network I worked with in the 1990’s. At the time I was doing okay but not great. Then I learned the difference between an Entrepreneurial CEO and a Corporate-Type CEO. And, at first I was a total non-believer. Then I checked on a couple of things. First, my own business was 100% entrepreneurial customers (including some Intrapreneurs in a larger corporation), as I thought about this I realized since I was an entrepreneur – I spoke in entrepreneur language or words.

After learning the differences between the two types of CEOs, I thought about all the meetings with Corporate Type CEOs and how not one piece of business came from these encounters. Reason: I was freely using the entrepreneurial words which made the corporate types very uncomfortable. So I decided to change the words, not the message. And, an interesting thing happened. I tripled my sales for the next three years due to winning large Corporate accounts to go with my smaller entrepreneurial accounts. All due to changing the words I used in the sales message. It is important to note here, the message or offers or solutions remained the same, only the descriptive words changed.

The third step is a general awareness of business terms and how to remove some of the resultant stress of using the wrong words in sales specific situations. Here are a listing of the words used by many sales people and the preferred words to use.

Don’t Use these Words… Say and Use these Words…
Cost or Price Investment
Down Payment Initial investment
Contract Agreement or paperwork
Buy Own
Sell Get involved
Sign Okay, approve, authorize, or endorse
Deal Opportunity or  transaction
Problem Challenge
Objection Area of Concern
Customer People / Companies we serve
Cheaper More Economical
Appointment Visit
Prospect Future Customer / Client
Commission Fee for Service

There you have the three steps to better Word Usage in your selling. Practice your word usage. Use a digital recorder to capture your presentations and word usage. You will produce your own evidence for improvement. Make the decision now to be better.

If you are not sure about how to change your word usage in either the behavioral style word usage or the targeted word usage for improved rapport with specific job titles, then contact me at 901-757-4434. We can chat about what you want to accomplish and what could help you get there faster.

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Voss Graham

Sr Business Advisor / CEO at InnerActive Consulting Group Inc
Your Knowledgeable Partner for Business Success and Achievement. Dedicated to helping others get to their next level of success. Award winning business advisor; coach to executives and business owners; Business Growth Strategist; and experienced using assessments for hiring & selection, evaluation of teams and improving communication. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.

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