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Seven Words You Cannot Say In Sales


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In the early 70's, George Carlin created quite a stir with his comedic "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television." So much so, that his original routine is still talked about today. His choices were funny to some and grossly offensive to others. The fact remains, that despite a steady decline in moral standards on television, those seven words remain off-limits to this day, at least on network television.

Our word choices and uses are important. They often convey our level of intelligence and understanding to others. Incorrect usage of words displays ignorance, causing others not to take us seriously. Words help to create pictures in our minds. This is critically important, especially in selling, where perception often means everything. "What you are doing speaks so loudly, that I cannot hear what you are saying." says Ralph Waldo Emerson. One might re-phrase that expression to say "I hear what you are saying, but I understand what I am perceiving."

The following words depict negativity and are perceived by your customers as evasive, uncaring, non-interested and non-committal. Trust me, if you are being perceived in this manner, you have already dug yourself into a deep hole and further speech will likely bury you. Lose these seven immediately:

  1. forgot
  2. blame
  3. excuse
  4. can't
  5. don't-care
  6. won't-do
  7. no

People want to be part of business and personal relationships where they feel they have importance and matter to the other person. Is that not what you want? There is no place for words or a mindset such as these on the journey towards success. These seven words represent apathy and self-serving, traits that seldom lead to sales growth. It is not only these exact words but the attitudes behind them that must be eliminated.

Development of superior selling skills begins with sincere interest in others. It begins with having the genuine desire to be of service. Our customers not only expect these but demand them as well. It is the base of what will develop into a relationship.

We are in the early stages of another presidential election season. There are seldom more opportunities to witness words, intentions and records more highly scrutinized than right now. Will President Clinton ever live down his scrutiny of the word "the" in defense of his actions? Learn from seeing how words will surely be separated from context, twisted and edited to mean something totally new. "What did you mean when you said...?" will be a commonly asked politically-charged question.

Choose your words carefully. Mean what you say. Forget vulgarity. Forget off-color humor. Forget clouded meanings. Be direct in your communications so that your customer knows exactly what you can, cannot and will do for them. Make certain that they thoroughly understand your intentions and expectations. This is where integrity shines. Clear word choices lead to clear communication which in turn leads to satisfying relationships. Choose your words carefully and win.

About the Author

Daniel Sitter, author of both Learning For Profit and Superior Selling Skills Mastery, has garnered extensive experience in sales, training, marketing and personal development spanning a successful 25 year career. Experience his blog at

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-12-10 16:59:41 in Marketing Articles

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