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The Top 20 Words That Sell
Written by: Sean McAlindin
Sean McAlindin, a business and arts writer, has a decade-long experience in music and culture journalism and recently ventured into business writing.
Edited by: Sallie Middlebrook
Sallie, holding a Ph.D. from Walden University, is an experienced writing coach and editor with a background in marketing. She has served roles in corporate communications and taught at institutions like the University of Florida.
Updated on October 3, 2023
The Top 20 Words That Sell
In today’s highly competitive business landscape, mastering the art of persuasive marketing is essential to successfully attracting customers and driving sales. While many factors contribute to the effectiveness of a compelling sales campaign, the power of words cannot be underestimated.
Choosing the right words can make all the difference in capturing your audience’s attention and enticing them to take action. So are you ready to turbocharge your marketing game, skyrocket your sales, and dive into the world of persuasive vocabulary?
Here are our top picks for the most powerful, influential, and useful words for people who want to leverage their language to make sales. This information is designed to empower you to elevate your marketing efforts, increase sales conversions, and discover the magic words you need to unlock your customer’s hearts and their wallets.
So, listen up sales word nerds, and let’s begin!
Words have the power to influence perceptions and drive purchasing decisions by connecting to our emotions, beliefs, and desires. They can evoke both positive and negative emotions, spurring attraction, revulsion, or simple indifference.
The type of language we use, and how we use it, has a strong and immediate impact on people’s perception of who we are, what we stand for, and what we have to offer. It’s the fastest way to communicate our ideas and form connections with our audience.
The words that make sales are often simple, common, and straightforward. It’s more about how you use them and in what context.
The Psychology of Words in Sales
Have you ever wondered why it’s so easy to talk with some people and not with others? It’s simple. You speak the same language! This doesn’t mean that you both speak English or have a similar dialect. Rather, it’s that you connect on an interpersonal level.
Language expresses, embodies, and symbolizes our shared cultural reality. It’s one of our greatest human innovations, something that separates us from animals in our mental and emotional capacities.
It provides the ability for us to talk about intricate topics and delve deeply into realms of knowledge and perception. As such, masterful control of language is the absolute key to understanding your customers, getting their attention, and communicating to them about the value of your product.
Although language can be used to discuss infinitely complex subjects, the essence of its impact on our psychology is often much more basic. The words that most affect our perceptions, trigger our emotions, and ultimately influence our decisions are often simple and common. It’s really more about how we use them and in what context.
The impact of word choice stems from the inherent psychological associations between words and feelings. By understanding how language connects with human emotions, salespeople can strategically leverage them to elicit the reaction they want.
Certain words naturally evoke feelings of joy, sadness, fear, envy, anger, or urgency. These emotionally-charged words activate consumers on a subconscious level, resonating with their secret desires, needs, fears, hopes, and aspirations.
For example, words that arouse positive emotions like “happiness,” “excitement,” or “wonder” can create a favorable perception of a product or service. Similarly, words such as “irresistible,” “safe,” or “authentic” can generate a sense of anticipation, honesty, or comfort that can make an offer seem more appealing.
Moreover, words have the ability to shape consumer perceptions and influence decision-making. Take for instance words such as “trusted,” “proven,” or “guaranteed” that establish credibility, alleviate doubts or concerns, and convince prospects to give something a try. On the other hand, using words that highlight scarcity like “limited” and “exclusive” can create a sense of urgency and prompt consumers to take immediate action.
If used strategically, words are potent tools in the hands of educated marketers and salespeople. By carefully selecting and utilizing the right words for each message, businesses tap into the psychology of their target audience, generate the emotional reactions they are looking for, and ultimately drive more sales.
For more insight into how to use language to your advantage, check out Making That Sale’s article “21 Communication Tips to Make More Sales”
Who doesn’t love feeling like a VIP every once in a while? Add a dash of exclusivity to your offers, products, or services, and watch your customers go wild with excitement. Special edition? Oh yeah, count us in! Limited-time offer? I better get on this.
People love feeling special, and the word “exclusive” evokes a sense of privilege and uniqueness. You can use it to highlight limited products or services that offer more than the average competition. The magic of exclusivity is its ability to generate a sense of both elitism and belonging at the same time, as if you’ve been invited to a special club where all the guests are smart, beautiful, and rich – just like you!
Excluding the masses while courting those at the top of the heap can help you position your business as the choice for those seeking the best of the best. If you want to suggest a focus on personalized attention and top-notch customer service, look no further. “Exclusive” adds a touch of mystery and prestige to your marketing, making customers feel like they’re A-listers with access to something truly extraordinary.
Other words in this category include: “secret,” “confidential,” “private,” and insider.”
Attention, attention! Something special is happening, and it won’t last forever. Hurry, folks, come and get it before it’s all gone! Slap on that “limited” label, and watch the frenzy unfold.
Similar to “exclusive,” the word “limited” can be used to create a sense of scarcity. When you communicate that your offer is available for a limited time or in finite quantities, it can prompt potential customers to act swiftly and decisively. It’s the law of supply and demand, and any consumer who doesn’t want to miss out is going to choose to spend with urgency.
Hold the phone! Did someone say “free”? Ding, ding, ding! This magical word grabs attention and makes your customers automatically perk up. Give ’em an extra freebie, a bonus, or complimentary shipping, and they’ll be jumping for joy to do business with you.
As one of the world’s most persuasive words, “free” taps into people’s desire to get something without cost. It’s a word that brings happy tears to everyone’s eyes and works like a magnet to draw customers in and get them to listen to what you have to say.
In fact, many companies have built business empires by offering initially free services to build their customer base – just think of Facebook, Twitter, and OpenAI, to name a few.
Trust is the name of the game, folks. Show off those success stories and let your customers know that your product or service has a stellar track record. With a proven winner like yours, they’ll be itching to join the club.
“Proven” instills confidence in your audience by demonstrating that your product or service has a documented history of success. People are more likely to trust and buy from a brand that offers verifiable results and testimonials that make them feel confident in their decision to choose you over the competition.
“Authorized,” “tested,” and “endorsed” are other words that work within this same realm.
On some level, we all want to be popular. It speaks to our innate desire for belonging, community, and group-affirmed security. Look no further than the psychological power of social media on all ages of our population to see how easily we are addicted to social feedback of both positive and negative varieties.
Using “popular” is like inviting your customers to join a cool kids’ club where everyone wants to be part of the “in” crowd. Embrace the power of this word to show your audience that your product is the talk of the town, and they’ll be lining up like groupies for a place in the spotlight. At least until it inevitably gets too popular.
Say goodbye to doubts and worries! Give your customers a big ol’ dose of confidence by using the word “guaranteed.” It signals that you stand behind your product or service, and that their satisfaction is absolutely, positively assured.
We all want to have peace of mind, especially when we’re making an investment of our time and hard-earned money. This word provides a safety net for customers, making it a powerful tool that instills confidence and encourages them to take the leap.
Do keep in mind that “guaranteed” also obligates you legally to what you have promised, so be careful never to commit to more than you can deliver.
Stand tall, sales moguls, because “successful” is the ultimate badge of honor that you’ll wear with pride.
Just picture the scores of YouTube influencers and self-styled “thought leaders,” if you need an example of how salespeople leverage images of success to boost their reputation and attract willing customers.
This word is like a shiny trophy, proudly displayed on your professional shelf, boasting of your achievements and track record of satisfied customers. So don’t shy away from showing off your company’s awesome successes! Provide prospective customers with proof that choosing you is like hitting the jackpot and they will already feel like winners with you by their side.
We live in a century when waiting is so last year. In today’s fast-paced and information-saturated world, people want it now. Show your customers that your product or service delivers results faster than the rest and the dollar signs will soon appear.
AI technologies are now unleashing the ability to predict our needs better than we can ourselves, presenting us with purchasing suggestions that resonate with our buying patterns, demographics, and sentiment. Soon enough, instant will be too slow; we’ll desire our products to be there before we even know we want them!
As a result, it’s good salesmanship to emphasize how quickly your product or service can provide a solution to your customers’ problems, immediately. Instant gratification, here we come!
Humans are naturally drawn to novelty and change. By highlighting that your product or service is “new,” you spark interest and capture attention, inspiring potential customers to explore it further. It’s like a shiny toy, or an unopened door, that they just can’t resist.
We’re all curious explorers deep down and on some level. Once an idea has been planted in our brains, we simply need to know what it’s all about. Successful entrepreneurs and savvy consumers are lifelong learners who always strive to be on top of what’s coming next.
“New” promises innovation, the latest fads, and a chance to experience something they’ve never seen or tried before. It also exudes exclusivity, as we all want to see ourselves as trailblazers instead of mindless sheep. While some people are always going to stick by their old standbys, the real money in business is always in the latest, greatest trends.
“Innovative,” “latest,” “state of the art,” and “original” are other words that riff on this same theme.
Building trust is essential to maintaining customer loyalty. Incorporate the word “trusted” to convey that your brand is reliable, reputable, and has a history of satisfied customers.
If you do it right, you’ll soon be making a sale that’s more comforting than a warm cup of tea. Trust is a security blanket that wraps around your customers, assuring them that your brand is reliable, dependable, and worthy of their investment.
As long as you can back it up, using the word “trusted” is like the secret handshake that builds a meaningful bond with your audience, or an unbreakable oath to stick by their side through thick and thin. With trust, you become the dependable best friend your customers can confide in, and the safety net that catches them when they take a leap of faith.
Cha-ching! Money talks, my friends. And who doesn’t want to keep some extra dough in their pockets? If you tell your customers how they can save a few bucks or precious time by choosing your incredible product or service, their ears, and their wallets, are sure to open before the end of the pitch.
“Save” is a powerful word that appeals to consumers’ desire for cost and/or time efficiency. When you unleash the power of “save,” you become the budget superhero, swooping in to rescue your customers’ hard-earned cash from the clutches of overpriced villains! You’re suddenly the wise guru of cost-cutting, revealing hidden deals and unbeatable bargains with every twitch of your marketing wand.
The beauty of selling this way is that it prompts consumers to buy products they might otherwise hesitate to buy, simply because they don’t want to miss out on the potential for savings. It’s a marvelous psychological trick that somehow leaves all parties feeling good about the transaction.
Finding good value is like striking gold. So, if what you’re selling works well, lasts a long time, and won’t break the bank, it’s time to shout it from the rooftops and make sure everyone understands the immense worth they’ll be getting when they buy from you.
“Value” communicates that your product or service has a positive cost/benefit ratio. It highlights the advantages your offering provides, while positioning it as a smart investment that goes above and beyond normal expectations.
Embrace the thrill of over-delivering, the joy of going the extra mile, and the satisfaction of knowing that your customers receive more than they ever imagined. With “value” as your guiding star, you’ll become the legendary champion of customer-centricity, and your customers will feel like they’ve struck a deal of a lifetime.
Ain’t nobody got time for complicated! Nine out of ten times, customers are more likely to choose a hassle-free solution. Convenience is a significant selling point, and you can highlight how your product or service makes life easier by using the word “effortless.”
Your customers want smooth sailing with no bumps or unanticipated roadblocks. If you let them know that your product or service was designed to make their lives a breeze, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the soothing sounds of sales coming in. Not only can you reap the benefits of added sales, but also revel in the joy of making your customers’ lives infinitely easier.
When you harness the power of effortlessness, you become a master of simplicity, granting your customers seamless product experiences with a simple snap of your fingers. It’s like discovering the hidden shortcut that magically zips your client to their desired destination with ease, grace, and maybe even a glass of sangria on the side.
Pack your bags. It’s time for your customers to embark on a thrilling adventure of discovery. When you use the word “discover” to market your product or service, you’ll have your clients ready to unlock new horizons and uncover hidden treasures they never knew existed.
Human curiosity is a potent motivator. On some level, discovery is embedded into our DNA. When you encourage potential customers to “discover” what your product or service has to offer, you appeal to their innate desire for exploration.
It’s like setting sail on a grand adventure, where every step unravels new and captivating possibilities. When you unleash the power of discovery, you enable your customer to become a daring explorer, guiding them to breathtaking experiences they could previously only imagine.
Show me the money! Customers want to know exactly what they are going to get by using your product or service. You can incorporate the word “results” to highlight the tangible benefits and outcomes they can expect. At the end of the day, your customers want to know exactly what’s in it for them, so why not dazzle them with proof of your product’s effectiveness?
Results help us visualize the positive impact your product or service will have on our lives in real terms. Use the word with confidence and stand proudly by the fruits of your labor. You’ll become the champion of credibility, and your customers will entrust you with their hopes and goals, knowing that your solution is the surefire way to achieve what they desire.
Time is precious, and efficiency is key. Let your customers know that your product or service gets the job done faster, smoother, and more productively than the rest, and you’re sure to attract some positive attention.
In a busy, hectic world such as ours, efficiency is a highly-valued buzzword. If you talk about how your product or service can help customers save time, energy, or resources, you are going to be speaking their language.
In business jargon, we sometimes call this “optimization,” but that’s too fancy for most sales conversations, especially when words like “faster,” “better,” “easier,” and “smoother” are going to do the job just fine.
Sound the alarm! Your product or service is an absolute must-have. It’s the secret ingredient, the missing puzzle piece, the perfect match they’ve been waiting for. When you tell your customers that your product is “essential,” you’re letting them know that life without it just wouldn’t be the same.
Picture yourself stranded on a desert island, parched and sunburnt, with nothing but a coconut for company. Suddenly, a genie appears, offering you an elixir that quenches your thirst and bestows the vitality of a thousand coconuts combined. Five seconds ago, this magic potion didn’t exist, but now it’s suddenly essential to your survival.
In the realm of commerce, the word “essential” does precisely that—it quenches the thirst of consumers with products they never knew they needed but now cannot live without.
Think of “unparalleled” as a superlative on steroids. It’s not just “great” or “excellent,” it’s the absolute best choice. It’s like being the fastest runner in a marathon or the reigning grandmaster chess champion. There’s simply nothing that compares.
When you use “unparalleled” in your marketing communications, you’re telling your customers that they won’t find anything better out there. It’s the assurance that they’re making the smartest, most rewarding decision by choosing what you have to offer. It’s a stamp of excellence – it’s not merely preferable; it’s head and shoulders above everything else.
In a world where choices abound, “unparalleled” stands tall, pointing a flashing neon arrow at your product, declaring, “This is the one you need!” It’s the guarantee that your product is in a league of its own, and that’s a persuasive message that’s hard to resist.
Your customers are standing at the crossroads of choices, yearning for something that will, once and for all, truly transform their lives. Now, imagine handing them the key to unlock their full potential – that’s the magic of “empower.” When you wield this word, you tap into their deepest desires for personal growth, confidence, and achievement, giving your customers the ways and means to transform their lives.
With “empower,” you become a trusted mentor, guiding people through a labyrinth of decisions without having to show them the way. It’s like being the Yoda to their Skywalker, or the Dumbledore to their Harry Potter. You’re an advisor offering gentle nudges of wisdom to help them discover the inner strength that has been there all along.
“Empower” doesn’t dictate anyone’s choices. Rather, it liberates them, grants them authority, and imparts a sense of control. You’re not doing everything for your customers – instead, you’re the catalyst showing them the strength or the wherewithal to do for themselves.
At this point, your job becomes more than just selling. It’s about igniting sparks of triumph in their lives and leading your customers to a world of boundless opportunities and endless achievements.
Imagine you’re standing on a bustling city street, surrounded by colorful billboards and flashy sales pitches that promise the world, but feel as genuine as a mirage. Amidst this sea of artificiality, “authentic” emerges like a rare gem, captivating passersby with its sincerity, simplicity, and honesty.
When you infuse your sales conversations with authenticity, you tap into the essence of genuine human connections. It’s like a comforting embrace that cuts through the noise of insincerity and reaches straight to the hearts of your customers.
But here’s the true magic of “authentic” – it’s not some meaningless twaddle meant to impress or manipulate. It’s actually the secret to building trust and lasting relationships.
It comes from a world where salespeople aren’t just pitchmen, but true storytellers and confidantes who share their passions and beliefs with transparency. It’s a place where the spotlight is on the real you, not a masked or robotic salesperson molded to please.
“Genuine,” “original,” and “real” are three more words that work well in this same category.
As we’ve discussed, words have the power to influence, persuade, empower, and captivate your prospects. By incorporating our Top 20 Words that Make Sales into your sales vocabulary, you can charm your customers, ignite their emotions, build strong relationships, and drive more sales conversions.
Remember, it’s not just about using these words but also aligning them with the value and benefits your product or service provides. Choose your words wisely, experiment to see what works, and refine your marketing approach to create a compelling message that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from the competition.
Your job is to develop a sales strategy that comes across with the right combination of enthusiasm, optimism, knowledge, persuasion, and humanity. So go ahead, strategically apply these words to your sales campaigns, and watch your audience engage, open up, connect, and embark on a lifelong journey with your brand.
While these words are generally effective in most industries, their impact can vary based on the specific target audiences and contexts. Different industries may have unique selling points and customer preferences, so it’s essential to know who you’re selling to and adapt your language accordingly.
Balance is the key. Use the top words that sell strategically and sparingly. Pepper them into your marketing materials where they fit naturally, enhancing your message without overwhelming your audience. Let these words enhance your content, rather than steal the spotlight.
Yes, some words can be off-putting or create a negative perception. Avoid using clichés, pushy language, or terms that may confuse or alienate your audience. Focus on positive, customer-centric language that addresses their needs and preferences.
Tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns is essential to measuring the impact of the words you choose. Utilize analytics tools to monitor website traffic, click-through rates, conversion rates, and overall sales. Compare the performance of campaigns that include these words with those that don’t. A/B testing can help determine which words resonate best with your audience and drive the highest engagement and sales.
The key is to use persuasive language that aligns with your brand identity and values. Be authentic in your communication, genuinely addressing your customers’ needs, and showcasing how your products or services can genuinely benefit them. Let your products and services speak for themselves and your customers will be persuaded naturally.
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