Customer Experience News & Trends

10 words that kill sales

Everyone uses them — which is exactly why you shouldn’t.

Take a close look at your standard presentation, the “about us” section on your corporate home page or your PR material. Highlight every instance of the words leader, leading, best, top, unique, great, largest, solution, innovator or innovative.

Go and find all instances of the phrase, “We work to understand our customers’ unique needs and then build customer solutions to meet those needs.” Then hit the delete key. Because every time you use one of those buzzwords or phrases, you’re telling your customers, “We’re exactly the same as everyone else.”

Study results

A recent study of company promotional materials showed that 161,000 companies considered themselves to be leaders in their industry. More than 75,000 companies think they’re the best or the top; 30,400 think they’re unique.

If you think the word solution makes you unique, think again. More than 30,000 companies claim they offer the leading solution. Have you ever met a salesperson who didn’t think his or her value proposition was better than any competitor?

We’re here to create value

No matter how much you tell your customers, “We’re here to create quantifiable business value,” keep in mind that the next salesperson through the door is saying the exact same thing.

Differentiating yourself

A good way to differentiate yourself from the competition is not to describe your differences, but to make customers value them. First, try to be memorable, not agreeable. Try to frame your conversation around an edgy or unique insight. Being different is better than being forgettable.

Then try to build a presentation that leads to your solution, not with it. Before even talking about your capabilities, try to identify a problem customers didn’t even know they had – one that you can solve better than your competitors.

When you do that, you don’t need hackneyed words or phrases to close the deal.

(Adapted from The Challenger Sales, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson.)

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