Five Words That Will Injure Any Sales Call

The key to being successful is sweating the small stuff. That comes down to the very words that you use. That’s why I’ll always encourage you to paint persuasive word pictures for your clients.

But don’t stop there.

Avoid those words that raise flags for buyers and sellers. Words that paint ugly, bad pictures–albeit, stereotypes–of salespeople.

Following is a list of Tom Hopkin’s “Thou shalt not say” words. Words that generate pictures of sleazy car salesmen, images of big city political hustlers. Words that put prospects on the defensive, out of the buying mood.

“Cost” or “Price.”

Here’s what your client sees when you say these words: Money leaving their wallet. Instead, say “total investment,” which creates a picture of putting your money to work.

“Monthly Payment”

Picture of bills. And they already have too many of those.

Instead, say “monthly investment.” Again, a picture of putting your hard-earned dollars to work, which everyone enjoys hearing.

“Sell” or “Sold”

Picture of being pushed or pressured. Think telemarketers and resort sellers.

Instead, say “get involved with” or “helped you acquire.” Pictures of participation and benevolence. Big difference here.

“This Will Be a Good Deal.”

(Personal pet peeve of mine.) Picture of back office, city politics. The pool hall deal. Used car lot negotiations. It’s got corruption written all over it.

Instead, say “opportunity.” “This will be a good opportunity.” Ah. Need I say more?

“Just Sign Here.”

You’re client or prospect sees you holding them hostage to an agreement–forever. Will spook even the most seasoned home buy, I bet.

Instead, say “endorse,” “authorize” or “approve the paperwork.” Pictures of you in the driver’s seat, you with the power.


Remember: a successful sale is made up of dozens–if not hundreds–of smaller parts. Success comes together like a deliberate, systematic arrangement of jigsaw puzzle pieces.

That means the words you use are just some of those parts. A tiny part, yes, but could be the very hinge that closes the door on your “opportunity.” Let me know what you think.

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Charlotte Homes

… it is so ironic that some of these same concepts of paying attention to these keywords people pickup on have been a cornerstone for how I interact with clients and prospects with success.


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