Are there ten words you should never use in a sales pitch? Absolutely – in fact, there’s more than just ten!
Remember, words are not just a collection of letters with dictionary definitions. Some words set off emotional triggers. They can cause conflict and start fights. We’ve heard them all before, and all of us have associations with specific words that can potentially turn us off. Its easy to imagine that if you use these words in your product demo, you may communicate something different than intended, because of that negative baggage.
So without further ado, here’s a short list of ten words you should NEVER use:
Used in a product demo sentence: “In just five minutes, I can teach you what our product can do for you.”
Why prospects hate this word: When you hear this word, don’t you recall an image of your grade school teacher going on and on about some dull subject that’s going to be on the test? Your prospects feel the same way, too. Moreover, “teach” implies that you are superior, and know more than they do – bad start for a demo.
What works better: Used judiciously, the word “share” carries less baggage in a situation like this.
Why it’s better: Say, “Let me share how this product can help you,” and there’s no negative connotation. You’re also subtly implying that this is information you wouldn’t give to just anybody.
Used in a product demo sentence: “When you see our product, you’ll learn why it’s better than the competition.”
Why prospects hate this word: Learning something—anything, really—requires investing time and energy. Your prospects don’t have enough of either, especially on the show floor in your trade show booth. Moreover, both the words “teach” and “learn” can be used in ways that make people feel stupid – and you don’t want to do that to your audience!
What works better: “Discover.”
Why it’s better: Discovering something is often a happy accident that brings delight. Also, discovering something implies they will do it themselves – many people want to make up their own mind, and this affirms that goal.
Used in a product demo sentence: “Once I’ve shown you the product, I can provide additional details specific to your needs.”
Why prospects hate this word: By their very definition, “details” are small and unimportant. While they’re important to you, your prospect doesn’t have time for them.
What works better: “Insights”. As in, “If you’re interested, I can share some insights unique to your application.”
Why it’s better: Your prospects are eager to learn what’s especially important and valuable to them. To them—not to you. That’s what insights are. Make sure you’re focusing on what your client needs to know, not just on your features and benefits.
“Case Study”> Success Stories
Used in a product demo sentence: “I’ve got some case studies showing what our product can do.”
Why prospects hate this word: OK, it’s actually two words. But both of them are laden with excess baggage. The word “study” conjures up having to invest time and energy to “learn” something. And the word “case” is just as bad. It brings up thoughts of courtrooms and legal actions. And the phrase sounds like something that is long and boring.
What works better: “I’ve got some success stories that show how our product cut production time in half for companies like yours” (this also includes a benefit).
Why it’s better: We’ve enjoyed stories since our earliest bedtime memories. And everyone likes a story that ends happily. That’s what “success” is.
Used in a product demo sentence: “Honestly, this is the best product in the marketplace today.”
Why prospects hate this word: First, it can become a verbal tic, similar to “ers” and “ums,” used repeatedly in conversation without reason or thought. But even more important, honest people don’t normally draw attention to their honesty (and aren’t your trade show booth workers honest people?).
Many of us are raised knowing to beware whenever someone uses this word, understanding that what follows probably isn’t “honest”. And, saying “honestly” to highlight what you’re going to say next, suggests that what you’d said before may not have been honest.
What works better: “Listen.” Or, “-“. (Yes, you can just skip the word – it didn’t really communicate anything positive!)
Why it’s better: It’s a pause in a conversation that reminds the listener to pay special attention to what you’re saying, because this part is especially important. But don’t overuse it, either.
“Obviously,” “Evidently,” “Clearly,” “Without A Doubt,” and “You Should.”
Used in a product demo sentence: “Obviously, this is the perfect product for your company.”
Why prospects hate these words: Sometimes, the most innocent-sounding words carry the most baggage and do the most damage. Using these words can subconsciously make the prospect feel out of the loop. Or worse yet, even stupid.
What works better: Eliminating these ten words you should NEVER use from your vocabulary.
Why it’s better: When you’re courting a prospect, you should believe that what you sell is actually good for them—that they’re not just a sucker for a sale. When you use words like these, the prospect can end up feeling dumb. And besides, no one likes being told what to do.
When you’re creating a product demo for your trade show exhibit, your job is to communicate clearly, concisely and quickly what problem your product or service can solve for your booth visitors. Anything that doesn’t further that goal should be jettisoned from your demo’s script.
You always want to have a trade show booth that tells your story effectively. American Image Displays helps clients create compelling exhibits that communicate with attendees not just effectively, but also cost-effectively. If your booth isn’t communicating well anymore, give us a call at (800) 676-3976 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.