3 Words to NEVER Utter in Enterprise Sales

ClosingSales Development
bad sales phrases enterprise sales

We’ve all heard about those notoriously bad sales phrases that have grown to surface in B2B sales conversations. The key to not letting bad sales habits fester, is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Just like you are what you eat…

“You are what you speak”

There are 3 words that I’ve learned over the years that immediately devalue me, my team and our product.

These are different than those typical bad sales phrases. These words directly reflect the way a salesperson portrays their company to a prospect.

When these words are uttered, they project vivid imagery into your prospect’s mindset like a shaky handheld recording of that new blockbuster movie, or a generic white “beer”……. or even a Yugo!

Bad Sales Phrases Enterprise Sales 1

If you want your prospect to treat you like a Yugo (let’s even go as far as to say a rental Yugo) you should never say the three words I’m about to tell you. 

Bad Sales Phrases Are One Thing, Bad Habits Are Another

bad sales phrases enterprise sales

Bad habits can be hard to break, but not when there’s money involved!

I’ve been able to break my own nasty habit by issuing myself a fine of $1 every time I said one of these forbidden words.

After about $5, I was cured.

Yes, people often ping me for additional “candidates” and they are all open to discussion, but at the end of the day there is absolutely no discrepancy about these 3 words.

I am so religious about these three words that I won’t even use them in my regular day to day language. Because once you start to use them in any context, they will creep back into your business etiquette.

And then you’ll owe me another $1.  

This became so effective in helping me continue to close larger and larger deals that I started to implement it with my teams, and not just sales only. Everyone in the company because it influences our mindset with how we work with customers and how customers perceive everything we do.

Implementation is Key to break the bad habit:

The single most effective method to ensure behavior change is a monetary penalty. I found a visible jar with a sticker on it describing these 3 bad words, and the $1 fine.

Everyone on the team begins to police everyone else and it becomes a fun team building game. If you get to $20 then buy something for the team. Or donate to Watsi.

The 3 words you must NEVER use in B2B Enterprise Sales:

  1. Tool
  1. Trial
  1. Discount

Say each one of these words aloud and then write down the immediate image that comes into your head.

This is the same image that pops into your prospect’s head. For me the images are:

        Tool: a screwdriver

        Trial: a small bottle of shampoo  

        Discount: applied when I buy stuff at the Dollar Tree

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The vocabulary that you can substitute for these 3 low-value words are the following 3 high-value phrases:

  1. Tool → We are a Platform / Solution
  2. Trial → We engage in Pilots
  3. Discount → We can offer a Reduction in Cost Structure

Many times prospects/customers will call our platform a “tool”. No need to correct them but as we begin to use the language of “Platform” then after a few interactions guess who begins to adopt our higher-value language?

Little details like this make all the difference in a B2B, Enterprise level deal where sales professionals and prospects must engage in human interaction. Value is the key differentiator to establish. Language sets the tone.  

If you email me directly with a funny story about using one of these 3 bad words in a B2B context, I’ll send you one of these:

Enterprise Sales 3

Strike those 3 low value words from your vocabulary right now! Watch the impact on how your prospects perceive and interact with you & your team.


“You are what you speak”

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