Seven Magic Words that Will Increase Your Revenue

There are many times when a person’s choice of words really matters:  in negotiations, in relationships, and in business, to name a few.  Some words can ignite a negative reaction in others, even if the messenger means well.   As you’re working hard to build trust, choose words that support your goal rather than erode it.  Here are seven magic words to consider switching to when you are talking business.

Hot:  Meeting

Not: Appointment

An appointment is usually made to see a doctor, dentist, or other service professional.  If you’re an accountant, consider calling them client meetings instead of appointments.  It’s very subtle; an appointment is the time a professional of higher ranking usually does something to the subordinate client or patient, such as a root canal.  A meeting is a time with two business partners sitting side by side.

If you don’t want your clients thinking about root canals and annual physical exams, then try using the word “meeting” instead of “appointment” for your time together.

In:  Client

Out: Customer

A customer is a retail term for someone who shops at Whole Foods, Home Depot, or Subway.   The word “client” infers a degree of professionalism about the relationship and denotes more of a long term business relationship.   Try calling them clients instead of customers.

Softer:  Agree, approve

Harsher:  Sign

When you ask someone to “sign here,” it implies a loss of control or freedom, as in the expression “signing their lives away.”  However, when someone agrees, or approves, it feels like it’s more of a mutual decision.  Now, I can’t give legal advice, so check with your attorney if you change the wording on your contracts.  But try wording your cover letter and any verbal instructions with the words “agree” or “approve” rather than “sign here.”

Elite: Take care of it

Common: Pay

When dealing with the wealthy client, a simple phrase change will show that you are in the know.  Replace “How would you like to pay?” with “How would you like to take care of that?” and your elite client will notice the difference.

Hot: Investment

Not: Price, cost

It sounds more elegant to label a future client’s outlay as an “investment” instead of “price” or “cost.”  However, this switch in words has been a bit overused by some of the marketers that sell information products or coaching programs, so use it sparingly on your higher-priced programs or only when there is truly lasting value for the service being offered.

Consider:  Choose, select

Avoid:  Buy

The word “buy” elicits a warning of sorts in people from a psychological standpoint.  It can actually stop people in their tracks.  When you can, replace “buy” with just about anything else, such as “choose” or “select.”

Better:  Issue, challenge

Negative:  Problem

Overused:  Opportunity

When a client comes to you with a “problem,” it’s important to let them know you can fix it, but you want to avoid making the client feel even more stupid than they already feel.  Changing the word “problem” to “opportunity” is overused.  Try using “issue” or “challenge” instead to soften the negativity.  The word “challenge” has lots of energy, and solving a client’s challenges increases the perceived value of your solution.

Psychologically Speaking

As marketers and business owners become more sophisticated, these subtle word differences matter.  When you can use words that sound more professional and build trust faster, you will benefit from the stronger relationships you make with your clients.