Words that Capture a Customer’s Attention

By Cindy Waxer

How quickly you capture a customer’s attention depends on how carefully you choose your words, according to Maura Schreier-Fleming. Author of Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results, Schreier-Fleming recommends using the following words and phrases to boost sales.

No buts
“If a customer has a concern, our job as salespeople is to listen, to acknowledge and to hear that concern. Using the word but negates everything you’ve said before it,” warns Schreier-Fleming. What your customer hears is the disagreement that precedes an argument. Instead, first acknowledge the concern and follow with the word: and. For example, your customer might comment that the process you recommend sounds complicated. You would respond: Yes, it is complicated and with our technical assistance…

No problem
Responding to customer appreciation with the phrase – no problem – is a surefire way to lose customer satisfaction points. Such a response leaves your customer associating your hard work with the word problem. Every time your customer says thank you, the only response should be: My pleasure.

Legal unease
Legalese is far more likely to confuse than impress your customers. “Salespeople should communicate clearly. Everything that detracts from clear communication should be avoided,” advises Schreier-Fleming. Use your words economically and avoid stilted words and phrases such as:

  • enclosed please find
  • thank you in advance for your cooperation
  • herewith
  • contained herein
  • pursuant to your request

Metaphors and similes
Choose words that make it easier for your customer to hear your selling message. Metaphors and similes are easy to listen to because they are word pictures that increase understanding. An example is: Predictive maintenance is essential to production; it’s like heat is to coffee. Creating images with words enables customers not only to hear what you’re saying, but to visualize what you’re saying as well. This creates a new level of understanding about your products and services.