7 Fear Words That Can Kill A Sale

August 27, 2011 by  Filed under: Sales 

Fear is a great motivator. It can get you to do something or to do nothing. When your buyer feels fear they are motivated to do nothing. Inaction, in your buyer’s mind, is the safest action to take.

One of the ways fear is triggered in your buyer’s mind is through fear words. Fear words are words that have a negative experience or meaning attached to them. They are words that are internalized in the buyer’s mind and causes the buyer to fear making a decision or moving forward.

A buyer’s fear can be minimized by using substitute “comfort” words. Comfort words are designed to invoke positive feelings or images. They’re part of your buyer’s everyday language and familiar to them. Comfort words puts the buyer in a positive receptive state of mind.
Fear words to eliminate and their comfort word alternatives.

Contract – The word “contract” in a buyer’s mind means forever locked into something that I can’t get out of. Instead of contract use “agreement”. An agreement implies that you and the buyer have met in the middle. No one is getting the advantage over the other. It’s a positive win-win.

Commitment – Commitment is reserved for the big things in life. Life changing events. Use “decision” as a positive alternative. For example instead of saying “Accepting this loan will require a commitment of 5 years” say “Your decision for a 5 year agreement will fit nicely in your budget”.

Sign – Use a positive word like “OK” as in “OK this paperwork” instead of sign. Using OK is less formal and puts your buyers at ease.

Payments – Use “investment” or “contribution” as an alternative to payment. Everyone likes to make investments. Making contributions has a positive connotation to it. Payments reminds the buyer of all the other payments he has to make. You want the buyer to feel they are taking positive action.

Cost – Cost is a word that suggests that there is something that will be taken away. Use “valued” or “priced at” as a way to discuss the price of your service of product. Example: “This car costs $24,385” versus “This automobile is valued at $24,385”.

Can’t – My dad used to tell me can’t never could. Can’t will never get you to a sale. Instead of stating things in the negative; state them in the positive. For example instead of saying “we can’t deliver on Sundays” say “we can deliver Monday through Saturday at a time that’s convenient to you”.

No – It’s been reported that an average one-year old has heard the word “no” an average of 400 times a day. As an adult that adds up to thousands of “no” answers. The alternative to saying “no” is to reposition the response in the positive. For example: A buyer asks, “Can I get a free tire if I buy four?”. Your response could be “no” but an affirmative response would be, “Mr Buyer, a free tire is not a program we currently have but I’d be glad to show you what we do have”.

Removing fear words won’t guarantee a sale but it will put your buyer in the correct state of mind for buying. A receptive state of mind that will increase the odds of getting a comfortable yes instead of fearful no.

James Lindsey is a copywriter that specializes in helping businesses grow. James has worked with Fortune 500 Companies developing marketing strategies in B2B and B2C channels. Additional ideas to drive customer growth can be found at http://www.JamesLindseyCopywriter.com.

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