Power Up Your Sales Through Power Speaking!

Craig Harrison
March 15, 2011 — 1,071 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

To become a mean, lean, selling machine it's time you trim the linguistic fat that weighs your words down. Rid yourself of language that diminishes your power. Avoid qualifiers, hedges and other figures of speech that dilute your message and diminish your impact. Speak the language of success…without qualification!


Look Out for the Hedge

Review your written and spoken words to audit your use of qualifiers, words that limit or qualify a word or phrase. Are you using words that weaken the impact of your statements? Qualifiers undermine your own message. They minimize your words' impact.


Consider these two statements by competing vendors:


  1. We'll deliver it by Wednesday.
  2. We'll try to deliver it by Wednesday.


Which will you buy from? I'm sure it would be the former!


Consider these assertions about similar products made by competing sales reps:


  1. It's the best product on the market!
  2. I believe it's the best product on the market!
  3. It's the best product on the market, in my estimation.


Who will you buy from? Unequivocally, the one who sounds most confident: the first speaker's statement.


The following words, whether inserted before a claim or statement, or appended thereafter, weaken your statements, and should be avoided whenever possible:


  • Try
  • Maybe
  • If...
  • Possibly
  • Perhaps...
  • With luck,
  • Perchance
  • Might
  • Consider...
  • Entertain a notion
  • Hope to
  • OK?
  • Would like to...?
  • I believe...
  • In my opinion...
  • I feel...
  • As far as I can tell...
  • I suppose ...
  • I suggest ...
  • I think...

Too many qualifiers in a sentence call into question the veracity of your statements. Remember, you're not running for office, you are selling! Speak with authority, assuredness and confidence. Weak language interdicts your power. Banish weak words and the language of doubt from your lexicon.


Check Your Power Source

Another way you weaken your writing and speaking occurs when you ascribe facts and statements to unspecified sources. Be bold in your statements. Take ownership of facts, statements and opinions. Every time you ascribe a statement to "people" or "others" it weakens the message. Consider these statements:


  • "I've heard this product saves money and time."
  • "Some say this product saves both money and time."
  • "Prevailing wisdom suggests this product saves both time and money."
  • "People say this product saves both time and money."
  • "Sources tell us suggests this product saves both time and money."
  • "The July edition of Transaction World magazine concluded this product saves both time and money!"


The last example packs a wallop. There is power in specificity! Vague is weak. Specific sells!


Don't Get Tagged Out

Beware of weakening your spoken message through the use of tag questions. Tag questions occur when you turn a statement into a question through appending a query to the end of your statement. Sales leaders speak in bold statements, without qualification. Their tentative counterparts qualify their assertions by appending a question to the end of their statements.


Below are several examples. In each case the first instance contains a bold statement; the second sentence becomes a tag question.

  • This is terrible!
  • This is terrible, isn't it?


  • People abhor indecision!
  • People abhor indecision, don't you think?


Soldiers won't follow a leader who says: We're going to take that hill, aren't we? And customers will respond best to the sales leader who speaks with power, precision and persuasion. Weak language diminishes all three. Speak in imperatives! Make declarations!! Beware the excessive use of tag questions.


Power to the Speaker!

Power, passion and purpose all fuel sales. You dampen the flames when you sprinkle qualifiers into your language, use tag questions and hedge statements excessively. Power up your sales. Trim your language of these crutches and watch your sales soar.



Professional speaker and trainer Craig Harrison's Expressions of Excellence! ™ provides sales and service solutions through speaking. For information on keynotes, training, coaching, curricula for licensing and more, call (510) 547-0664, visit www.ExpressionsOfExcellence.com or E-mail [email protected] for inquiries.

Craig Harrison

Expressions of Excellence

Craig Harrison's Expressions of Excellence!™ provides sales and service solutions through speaking, training, consulting, coaching and curriculum development. Craig is a professional speaker, corporate trainer and the author of Cultivating the Leader in You, Stellar Service! and a pair of books for Toastmasters members on how to go from Good, Better…BEST! as a leader and communicator. His keynotes are high energy, his training programs interactive and his tasteful humor is contagious. Craig's use of humor, storytelling and games makes learning fun and easy for all. He is a leader in the National Speakers Association, National Storytelling Network and Toastmasters International and has a worldwide following from his writing, keynotes and travels. For more about Craig visit www.ExpressionsOfExcellence.com, e-mail [email protected] or call (510) 547-0664.