Drop the Sales Lingo: 10 Ways You’re Sounding Like a Turkey in Sales


Sales is hard enough on its own. Prospecting. Rejection. Scheduling appointments. Researching the prospect. Understanding the competitive landscape. Knowing your prospects PAIN points. Uncovering budgets & spending patterns. Manipulating the decision-making process. It’s a tough game.

There’s no need to make it even harder by saying stupid things. But, some salespeople do. Oh, do they ever!

We’ve all been there. It’s as if you can see it coming … like a train wreck about to happen.  Here it comes… he’s gonna say it… OMG… he did… what a tool! The salesperson took all this time to get invited in, has the audience, makes a first impression & then lays an egg when he opens his mouth.

All because he’s not thinking. Not thinking about what he is saying. Not thinking about how to differentiate himself from all the other salespeople that call on this prospect. Not thinking that this prospect doesn’t need another “salesperson”. Not thinking that this prospect needs a solution to a business problem.

Here’s a list of 10 Ways You’re Sounding Like a Turkey in Sales:

  1. I’d like to connect.“I’d like to meet.” I wanted to…” “I need to…”

Stop it with the word “I.” Any sales phrase, sentence, or conversation that starts with what you want is wrong. Sales isn’t about you, it’s about what you can do for your prospect or customer. Take the focus off yourself & make sure that you engage into questions about what they want or what problems they have.

  1. Is it a good time to connect?“Is it a good time to talk?”

Too easy to answer NO to. Most people “buy the fight” & will respond negatively to the question.  If you haven’t established value, it’s a waste of your prospect’s time. Instead, ask, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” Let them “buy the fight” & disagree to that. See the difference?

  1. Just checking in …

Do you know how many salespeople use this line to open every phone call they make or email they write? Every one of them. Stop it! Now! If you want to separate yourself from your competition this is where you start.

  1. Touching base

Like “just checking in,” “touching base” is brutal! Completely unnecessary. If you aren’t providing new information or following up with new information, there’s really nothing for you to “touch base” about.

  1. Are you the decision maker?

With this question, you are practically asking your prospect to lie to you. If she is not the decision maker, it is often hard to admit it – makes people feel less important. If she is the decision maker (or a part of the process) you may miss out on that valuable piece of information – she is a part of a process – involving others.

  1. To be honest …

Maybe the worst 3 words anyone could ever say – let alone a salesperson.  Does this mean everything up to now was not honest? Lose it.

  1. Trust me.

“Trust me” is almost as pathetic as “To be honest.” Your prospects will trust you if you give them a reason to. Prove yourself. And another thing, if you say this in response to a prospect question, it can also come off as condescending, evasive, deflecting. Again, lose it.

  1. “Let me tell you about our product…”

Here we go again. It’s not about you. It’s also too early to talk about your product. Make it about them. Their problems. The problems that are costing their company money.

  1. You should know X about [competitor] …

Don’t you get a bad feeling when salespeople bad-mouth their competitors. Everybody does. Never bad-mouth a competitor. It may be tempting. Fight the urge. Take the high road. Always pays off.

  1. “Any (Jargon)”

In order to travel through time, the vehicle integrated with the flux capacitor needed to be traveling at 88 mph (140.8 km/h) and required 1.21 gigawatts of power (1,210,000,000 watts), originally supplied by a plutonium-powered nuclear reactor. Huh? A fun reference to the movie Back to the Future. Fun in the movies. In life & on sales calls this “Jargon” could make your prospect feel uncomfortable because they don’t know what you’re talking about. Leave the Jargon in the office. Don’t ever assume your prospect knows what you’re talking about.

Relying on jargon & acronyms makes you sound not human. Use real words to explain what you mean.

Think it through. Less is almost always best. Less sales lingo is absolutely best. Leave that to your competitors. You’ll mop up their mistakes & start having record sales quarters.




Posted in

Dave Tear

Dave is passionate about selling & helping others understand the sales process. Whether a client company has a 5 person sales team or a 300 person National sales force, Dave can Coach & Train them to be the best in their industry.
Get in Touch

Ready for Your Sales Team to Take it to the Next Level?

Dave's helped dozens upon dozens of companies up their sales game. Find out how he can help your team take it to the next level!

Also from the Sales Coach's Corner...

Motivation Does Not Work!

There! I said it. Owners of Companies, Presidents,  VPs of Sales & Sales Managers ... HEAR THIS... You ...
Read More

Sales is nothing more than setting expectations

How many times have you left a sales appointment... walked to your car in the parking lot... & ...
Read More

The rules have changed in sales

The rules have changed for Salespeople! Prospects are more educated than they have ever been before. Companies are ...
Read More