Wishy-Washy Words Don’t Take You to the Bank


When was the last time your prospect said, “We’ll probably go with you”?  How many times have you heard, “There is a good possibility we will give you the business”? Ever hear, “Your solution looks good”?  Things like this sound pretty good, right? 

Frank the fictitious salesperson hears this & runs back to his office to upgrade his pipeline from 50% to 80% or 90% or even 100%. He puffs his chest out (going from a 38 short to a 48 long!). He tells a few people on the next ZOOM meeting. He texts his boss to remind her how great he is. He adds up his commission. Over the weekend Frank spends his commission dollars in his head.

Frank’s a pretty positive guy. He likes people. He trusts people. Frank gets his needs met when his prospects stroke his ego like this. Frank thinks, “After all, why wouldn’t they buy from me? I know my stuff. Our products & services are good. They’d tell me the truth if they really weren’t interested.”

Story of Frank’s life! Only problem is the story isn’t over yet. What you don’t hear… what Frank didn’t hear is the word YES. Yes, we will buy from you. Frank trusted a wish-washy answer. He heard the wish-washy words, but he didn’t LISTEN to them. Don’t be a Frank!

In sales we have to pay attention to what people are saying. We have to listen to the words – really listen to what people say. Nowhere in the above statements do the words “Yes, we will buy from you” come out. It’s no different from what we heard as kids. Ever ask your dad if you could go to the movies? If he said “maybe” you knew there was no movie in your future. If he said “we might” you might as well make other plans. Hell, the only time I ever really believed an answer from my dad is when he said, “Go ask your mother!”

Let’s identify a dozen wishy-washy words we need to look out for in sales:

1. Maybe                      2. We might

3. Its possible              4. Possibly

5. Basically                  6. Probably

7. Usually                     8. We could

9. We should               10. We may

11. Looks good          12. We’ll see . . .

These words should make you nervous. They’re non-committal & don’t mean a thing.

Don’t be a Frank!

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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.
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