Sales Speak: Buzzwords to Avoid


Sales-speak-buzz-words-to-avoid.jpgMany companies don’t want to admit this, but the truth is, most people don’t like sales people very much. Or rather, they don’t want to talk to them until they’re ready to.

In fact, one of the worst things most of us can imagine is being cornered by a pushy sales rep, or receiving an unsolicited sales call. Admit it, even though you own a business and you have a sales team, you probably hate those things too.

Which is why, when you are creating marketing pieces, you need to be extra careful to avoid words or phrases that customers associate with sales people, otherwise known as sales speak. Here, we look at a few common sales speak buzzwords that you should avoid, and why, and we offer an alternative that you can use when you write marketing copy.

Sales Speak: Worst Offenders

In today’s business world, there are many jargon words and phrases that have wormed their way into popular use among sales people and executives. Chances are, they annoy people in your office, but if they trickle down onto direct mail pieces, they’re likely to confuse and annoy customers, and that’s never a good marketing strategy. Here are a few of the more commonly used phrases to avoid:

  • Partner with customers. Popular on business to business or business themed consumer targeted direct mail, such as accountants and lawyers. The truth is, you don’t partner with your customers. They pay for a service, and you deliver it.
  • Core competency. Sure, it sounds impressive when you use big words, but isn’t it just simpler to say “it’s what we’re best at?”
  • Utilize. This is another case that sounds like you’re trying too hard. Just say use.
  • Taken it to the next level. Rather say you’ve improved your product or formula, or better yet, state a statistic about how much bigger, better, faster or cheaper your new product is. It’s more believable.

When it comes to marketing to consumers, all marketing speak and sales jargon should go out the window. So should anything that makes you sound like you’re selling slightly dubious used cars, unsubstantiated grand claims, and phrases that sound like you’re trying too hard.

Ditch the snake oil sales terminology, and get real instead.

What Should You Be Saying?

To be successful in direct mail, your pieces should be honest, offer social proof, and focus on the benefit to the customer. No one reading your direct mail really cares that you’re synergizing, but they do care if you are now offering twenty-four hour services, or you have a new location in an underserviced part of your city.

Mention things like winning an award, being voted the most popular supplier of your product or service in the city, or beating delivery targets consistently. Tell customers that your products will save them time, make their lives easier, or last longer. But most importantly, keep the language in your direct mail simple, easy to follow, and don’t sound like a sales person, and you’re likely to get a much better response. On a go forward basis.

Direct Mail Best Practices