When in sales there is a way to go about gaining a sale and then there is a way of losing it all together and most likely forever.

The whole point of sales training is to enable sellers to become more efficient in their pitch to increase their sales. Despite the elaborate sales pitches and the maneuvers to woo the customer there are a few words and phrases that are detrimental to the success of the sale.

Sales people are taught what to say, rarely are they told what not to say. Embellishing a conversation with unnecessary words is more harmful than helpful. When at the point of no return in a conversation, if you cannot relate to the customer there will be a loss of the sale. Making high-level decisions without the customers knowledge will get them to feel as though they are being undermined.


To achieve the sales results desired several words and phrases should be avoided.

Think back to when you were being sold on an item, would you be interested in hearing the salesperson start off any sentence with the word, ‘Honestly’? This word is a minefield let alone placed within the statement, ‘Now let me be honest with you’. This implies that from the go you were not honest. The dishonest salesperson stereotype is deeply embedded in the mind of customers and is only proven correct with this word and statement. This statement or word can signal a red flag and scare off any potential sales. It is almost as pervasive as asking the customer to trust any liberties that you may have taken with the information that you have provided. A sure way to close any opportunity of a sale is to tell the customer to trust you. It implies that initially the customer should not have placed their trust in you. Trust is earned not given.

The term ‘Automatically’ goes hand in hand with the customers believing in you and the product. When using words to describe an item that is being sold avoid setting up high expectations. Not because the product is a bad product, but because if you establish the bar high and the product does not live up to those expectations the customer will feel as though they have been lied to.

If something is ‘Obvious’ then obviously it need not be mentioned. When implying that something is obvious it may come off as insulting as oppose to informative. Use this word at your peril, if you lead the customer to feel as though they are being condescended to you had lost the sale before it even began.

Using words to fill space will show a lack of confidence in the product and you. These ‘Filler Words’ become a crutch and are too personal to use with customers.


Avoid filler words such as, “like, and, um, so, basically, you know,” and “yeah.”


These are thoughtless words that will make you appear uneducated in the product you are selling. During a sale, it is good to keep the conversation going without trying to fill the space with words that will not lead to a sale. Using filler words can be a habit people are unaware of, be more aware of the words you choose to use when interacting with customers.


Avoid using Acronyms. These company-based terms can make a customer feel as though they do not understand well enough to purchase the item they are inquiring about. A sale is all about relating to the client, if the customer cannot understand what you are talking about they cannot relate. They may not ask you to clarify what it means, and they may just refuse the sale simply because they have no idea what it is they are buying.


Overused words such as ‘cutting edge, user-friendly, seamless, etc.’ can come off as drab and mundane. These words can induce a person into a coma like a state, causing their eyes to glaze over and no longer hold the interest in a conversation leading up to a sale. Including ownership words such as ‘I’ or ‘my’, which can make the customer feel excluded.


Where does salespeople need to be

Last but certainly not least, a statement that can allude to unnecessary negotiations on price is “Where do I need to be?” This statement is used when it comes time to reveal the bottom line on a product or service. If a previous customer comes in for a second time to purchase again, then this statement may not be so bothersome. When it comes to brand new clientele, it is best to place your best foot forward.


In the end, to ensure the sale it is best to stick to verbiage that is not annoying, insulting, or distracting. Reduce the noise and the fluff in conversations. If these terms or words are used, it may not stop a sale altogether, but it surely can stall a sale to the point where the sense of urgency is no longer present.


Keep the sales pitch conversation relevant and forward, always building a friendly relationship with customers and potential customers.  

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Posted on July 11, 2016 by Sean Miller