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Want the Sale? Watch What You Say…

Act like a professional, speak like a professional. Your words make all the difference.

“Connect with people, and you have the sale. Connect with the business issue only, and forget it.” I wrote something like that in my book, and it still rings true. However, “connecting” doesn’t mean using slang and words and phrases that annoy your sales prospects and clients.

(Before we head into what you shouldn’t say, here’s something you shouldn’t do: Salespeople should never cold call. You knew that was coming.)

I share with you here, the latest from The Marist Poll and its list of the most annoying words (please, if you haven’t already, drop them from your lexicon):

Whatever, You Know?

“According to The Marist Poll, “whatever” remains the most annoying word or phrase in conversation today. 39% of Americans despise the often tossed about term. The uber-filler “like” is deemed the most irritating by 28%. “You know what I mean” is considered the biggest verbal gaffe by 15% of the population. “To tell you the truth” grates the most on 10% while “actually” receives the dubious distinction from 5%. Three percent are unsure.

In October 2009, “whatever” was crowned king with 47%. Other annoying words and phrases included in that survey were: “you know” (25%), “it is what it is” (11%), “anyway” (7%), and “at the end of the day” (2%). Eight percent were unsure.

Younger Americans, those 18 to 29, currently have a different take. 44% of these residents wouldn’t mind if “like” is abolished in everyday conversation. Their older counterparts disagree. Among those 30 to 44, 37% say “whatever” gets on their nerves the most. 46% of Americans 45 to 59 and 40% of those 60 and older agree.” (Here’s the link to the full post on The Marist Poll.)

The words you choose really do matter. Speak well, speak real words, and say what you mean.

What Bugs You?

Um, like, what’s the most annoying, overused business, sales term in your world? Because it’s good to share. Comment here.

One Response to Want the Sale? Watch What You Say…

  1. David P. Matthews says:

    “Dude,” even when it’s used ironically, is a sophomoric breach in any business communication or presentation. “Hopefully,” “on a daily basis,” “(it) begs the question” are used incessantly and incorrectly. If writers and speakers would just drop them, no one would miss them after a week or so.

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