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Five words that are hurting your sales calls

You’ve practiced and practiced and seem to be checking all the boxes of what you should do in a sales call. But what about the stuff you should be avoiding? 

Five words that are hurting your sales calls
[Rido / Adobe Stock]

How many articles, videos, or professional advice have you received in order to improve your sales game?

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It’s all stuff you’ve heard before, right? So you’ve practiced and practiced and seem to be checking all the boxes of what you should do in a sales call. But what about the stuff you should be avoiding?

As a white-label provider, our agency partners have an opportunity to record their sales calls to have them reviewed by one of our trained coaches. While we are able to see vast improvements in the way our partners communicate with clients, we can still summarize five consistent words that are actually hurting their sales call.

Today, we’re going to outline how those words are being intended, why they don’t work, and which words to use instead.

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WORDS TO AVOID

Word No. 1: Problem. What could be problematic about the word problem? For starters, it gives off a negative connotation. That’s something we want to avoid as salespeople. After all, we’re problem-solvers and thus, we must avoid the pitfall of claiming there is a problem.

Many agency owners use this word because they’ve been taught to “get at the clients’ pain points.” They’re taught that if they get a lead to disclose less than ideal situations, they’ll have something to dig further into or solve. That’s the correct way of thinking, but it’s the wrong word choice. Often, we hear agency owners get to the pain point question by stating things like, “So what kind of problems are you having?” Or even, “Are there any issues I can solve?”

Instead, we want to aim for words that insinuate more fix and less problem. Consider challenges, for example. Challenge tells the lead you understand there can be hurdles in their business but you can turn it around for them. Try asking, “What challenges are you facing today?”

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Word No. 2: Buy. How else do you get your prospect to make a purchase from you? In other, less direct ways! When it comes to talking dollars and cents, it sometimes makes the most sense to find the roundabout way of saying the word buy.

Agencies want to let their prospects know they “mean business” so they’ll say things like, “Is this something you’d be interested in buying?” But agency services shouldn’t be spoken about as if they’re getting a one-off retail product. Clients want to know you are in it for the long haul—that you’re getting into a business relationship with them.

Instead, use phrases like “move forward.” You might also consider saying, “Would you like to take advantage of this opportunity?” This should stir up the hint that they don’t want to miss this chance.

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Word No. 3: Pitch. This is a big no-no that far too many agencies or salespeople use in cold emails or messaging. In fact, many business owners will tell you they cringe when they see it or hear it.

Of course, service providers don’t intend to turn their prospects away. They think pitch means “I’m going to present you something that could really drive revenue in your business!” But in reality, business owners hear: “I’d like to ramble on about my business, what we do, and why we’re special—then ask you to buy what I’m selling.”

The word you want to use instead is discussion. In that, the “pitch” becomes a two-way conversation. If anything the sales call should be done by listening more and talking less. You should be curious to learn all about the client’s business and go in as a journalist rather than a presenter.

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Word No. 4: Contract. The word that sits in the back of every agency owner’s mind, but sometimes is the hardest to get out. However, it’s a word we want to avoid if we can. Contract denotes being tied into something even when it’s no longer wanted.

Instead, the word you want to use is agreement. This tells the business owner that together you were able to find a solution favorable for both parties. Also, never pressure a business owner into signing. Instead, opt for something along the lines of, “I’ll send over an agreement and you can sign at your convenience.”

Word No. 5: Objection. Agency owners will use objection to try and gain clarity or get coy business owners to open up and reveal what they’re thinking.

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Agency owners might ask, “Do you have any objections about the solution?” This immediately plants the idea that they should indeed proceed with caution.

Instead, ask your lead if there’s anything else they might be curious about or ask what they think about (X) solution. You could also try saying something along the lines of “Do you see how this solution will help your business?”

FIND YOUR SALES RHYTHM

If you’re in the digital marketing industry, you know how important it is to perfect your sales process. It’s a hyper-competitive industry. Everybody claims they get the best results or have proprietary processes to execute (X) strategy. You’ve got to walk the talk and have a little charm to become the most influential salesperson.

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Overall, ensure you’re not sabotaging your own sales game with words that don’t support your agency’s professionalism.


Solomon is a sales and marketing guru who has built a number of successful companies over the last decade. Read more at Thimothy.com.

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