• Gert Scholts

Tell customers what they would like to hear

This sales tip is for sales people who talk too much!

Every Sales Training course we have ever been on, tells us we should listen more to our (prospective) customers. I am sure you would agree. Yet, most of us just cannot keep our mouths shut….

Why? Sales people like to talk, share, have fun and are devastatingly optimistic about almost everything. We just have to let the world know.

With all those ideas and solutions swirling around in our head, how do we know the best next thing to say?

Sure, there are words and expressions that help customer commitment and a sale closer.

But what about words and concepts that put customers off?

Terminology or jargon can confuse customers. A confused, future client is unlikely to make any decision to buy soon.

Here are some words and phrases to avoid if you are a talker rather than a listener. I have also added alternative approaches that add value and bring a deal closer.


No customer likes to be told they have a problem. Use ‘challenge’ or ‘opportunity’ instead.


Who wants to be called a prospect? Add value by calling them future client/customer instead.

What are your priorities when making a buying decision?

Here you are about to create the price objection. Try this instead: Other than a good price, what are your expectations from our product and services?

Don't, Not, Won’t, Can’t

Customers are seeking solutions. Any negative expression can be seen as a hurdle.

Obviously, excellent, no problem

These are all self-congratulatory terms. We are talking to our self here, not the client.

It could be obvious or excellent for you, but is it for your future client?


We need to be confident in our sales pitch, so using words like maybe don't help our cause.


Our products and services should be seen as valuable rather than cheap. Instead I suggest terms like excellent value, cost effective or advantageous.


Cost has a negative connotation. Use "investment" instead.


This can devalue the entire deal, so refrain from using this whenever possible. Use words like ‘volume bonus’, ‘loyalty rate’ or ‘special price for you’.


"Price" may make them think they can shop around, again here use "investment" instead.


Use "areas of concern" instead.

Sign or Signature

Rather than asking them to 'sign' a document, ask for their approval instead. It sounds and feels warmer.


Everyone knows salespeople are partly paid based on commission, but don't make it blatantly obvious that you're going to make money off the sale. It is about your clients, not about you.


That new product may an exciting development to you or your Marketing team, but is it exciting for your clients? Instead, find something about your offering that actually excites the future client.

Are you the decision maker?

Knowing where the power lies in any organisation is key. “Are you the decision maker?” is a relevant question. Power this question up 100% with this line instead: ‘you are the decision maker?’ It adds instant value to the person you are talking with. Better still, ask what the decision making process is to move things forward.

Let me tell you that….

Another assumptive high handed statement that will take your sale off track. Try ‘imagine how our product will help your team to…..’ instead.

I was talking to a customer...

Change this one to 'I was talking with a customer' Talking to implies we are telling customers what is good for them.

I hope the above has made you realise some words and phrases you use every day, are holding your sales back right now. Change them and tell your customers what they prefer to hear. It will help you to make more sales.

If you or your company would like to learn more about professional selling techniques and performance improvement, read my other sales tips or contact me. Happy to help you to be the best you can be.

#salestips #salestactic #salesteammanagement #salestraining

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