5 Words That Strike Fear – You Should Stop #APAutomation #Sales


I am continually surprised how often reps shoot themselves in the foot on deals. Now, don’t get me wrong… the highly skilled ones don’t have this problems, it’s the reps that don’t understand that there is a connection between their skills (and building those skills) and their outcomes.


The connection between skill building and outcomes draws light on the idea that the more you learn and build skills the less you will shoot yourself. The other observation is that this lack of skill building cuts across experience, type of sale and cultures. On many occasions I have heard a rep explain that their sale is too different and complex for sale training. This folks is code for I would rather not put the effort into learning or I am afraid you will make me change what I do.


In the spirit of skill building and starting with something simple, how about a few words that strike fear into deals that you should stop?


  1. Work-A-Round – let’s face it folks, if you are unable to do it just tell the customer and be honest about it. The amount of respect you get from the client will enable you to continue the conversation. I have even found that with this level of honesty, and if the feature is a “deal breaker” the client will still try as hard as possible to work with you.
  2. Free – Nothing is free. I know I am sounding like a cynical old man, but that’s what a client will think. If you are charging anything at all for your offering… it’s not free. Now a feature or a service can be included, but it’s not free.
  3. Win-Win – Be careful with this one. Especially with accounting and finance people. The idea of winning and achieving can strike a negative cord with professionals that are risk adverse.
  4. Customization – This is code for additional expense. If, just like the first point, your offering doesn’t do what the client needs, it is important for them to know this. If your business is built on customization then it’s part of the offering, but bringing up the word as an answer will strike fear, and bring it up too much will have the client wonder what really works.
  5. 100% – People are generally wary of absolutes. I coach people that they should never solve a complex problem with a simple answer. The idea of 100% unless it’s wrapped around a guarantee can put you in the situation of absolutes.

Want to know more? Buy My Books!

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About The Author:

Christopher Elmore has written 8 books, countless articles, lectures at UNC – Charlotte and travels around the country speaking on the topics of startup success, sales, presentation skills, change, entrepreneurship, accounts payable and payment automation. Having deep startup and entrepreneurial experience, Christopher was one of the six people that started AvidXchange in 2000 and continues to work in the business today. If you hire Christopher to speak or teach at your company or event… you won’t be sorry! Request a media kit or contact us for more information

3 Replies to “5 Words That Strike Fear – You Should Stop #APAutomation #Sales”

  1. This article is a 100% free customized work-around for poor sales jargon that can be a win-win if implemented. See what I did there? Good stuff, Chris 🙂

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