People say there’s power in the words that you use. I’d have to 1,000% agree with this. So I did a little research into the most potent power words to suggest in my media sales training.
I looked for words that evoke emotion—words that show proven power in the sales arena. What I found is the list that follows, words I believe classify as the Top 20 power words to use in the sales business.
Keep in mind that these are not necessarily in order of importance. They all are equally powerful in their own right.
The first word that always pops up is “opportunity.”
“I’ve got an opportunity that you’ll not want to miss out on.” Or, “I’ve got a great opportunity for you.”
It’s a word I suggest in my ad sales training that you use often. It’s that powerful.
I love this word. I don’t use it enough.
You might use it something like, “Just imagine you’ll see these results as a byproduct of your marketing campaign.”
So–imagine. Here’s another example, “I can’t promise you that you’ll see these results in this particular business, but just imagine.”
This word is very important in the media sales business. Value.
Everyone is looking for an exceptional value. So I talk a lot about value and value-based selling in my ad sales training.
This one I do use often. Here are some approaches: “I have a concern, may I share with you why?”
Or, “I’m concerned about what you’re saying, may I share with you why I’m concerned?”
So if my media clients and prospects say, “I’m only doing digital,” I might say, “May I share with you a concern?” And I’ve never had anyone say, “No, Ryan, don’t give us your concerns.”
So, “concern”—it’s one I emphasize in media sales training.
5-A person’s name
You may already know this, but there’s nothing better than hearing your name.
Now, you don’t want to overuse it, “Bob … Bob … Bob.” But I’ve noticed, in my ad sales training, that when I’m on-site if I remember people’s names and I use them, they really appreciate it. A person’s name is a very important power word.
But I emphasize again, we don’t want to go over the top with it. We want it to keep its power.
In my ad sales training, “fear” is a word I stress that you use. “My fear is that your absence is your competitor’s opportunity,” for instance.
More examples: “My fear is that you might be missing out on this.” “My fear is that your competitor may sneak right in here behind you and buy this out.”
I genuinely like this word—but remember that it’s a negative word. So be careful and judicious about when you use it.
It’s kind of a phrase, actually, but the idea is this: “I fear you may be missing out on an amazing opportunity to grow your business.”
And there’s the word “fear” again. And there’s the word “amazing,” as well—and that’s another word further down on the list here that I emphasize in my media sales training.
As I look back on these first seven words and phrases, you could use them all together. “I fear that you might be missing out on an amazing opportunity.” Or, “You might miss out, Bob….”
You can play a game with it, really.
“Simple” evokes exactly what it is for people–it’s simple.
“Huh,” you say, “it’s a power word?” Yes.
Example: “I have a simple yet effective way to get that done for you.”
I think the reason “simple” pulls up on the list of power words is because it’s so important and yet it’s not used a great deal. And you need to keep things as simple as possible for the people you’re talking to in your ad sales.
But do keep this in mind: Simple can sometimes mean “affordable” for people, so be careful with that. Be mindful.
Be careful not to overuse this one. But here’s a good, effective way you can use it when it’s appropriate–“I have a unique opportunity you will want to hear about.”
This one I really like. In my media sales training I give this example of a great way to use it. “I feel this marketing idea will give you an advantage over your competition.”
“Are you looking for an advantage?” Or, “What type of advantage can I bring to this equation?”
As with some of the earlier power words, this one I think you can overuse. Just as “unique” falls into the be-careful category, this word does, too. For example, everybody says, “This is amazing.”
So try something like this instead. “I think this will have an amazing impact on your business.” Or, “This is an amazing opportunity that you should be considering.”
This word popped up on every power word list I researched. That’s because “avoid” is a stopper. When someone says “avoid,” it makes you pay attention for a brief second.
So for example, you might say, “I hear what you’re saying, but I help my clients avoid situations like this.”
I like this word, although it’s not a word I use a good deal. But it’s still a winning word that I suggest in my media sales training.
For example: “You are the first people I called about this.” Or, “Do you want to be first on this?”
It’s definitely a power word.
Try this approach, “Now that’s a problem facing your business that I can fix.” Or, “I believe I have a way to fix that.” “What problems can I help your business fix?”
It’s a simple word that means I can solve this for you. I don’t hear it very often, either. And by the way, “solve,” that’s a good word, too. So if you don’t use “fix,” you could use “solve.”
This is a powerful word, however, you want to be careful about it–especially in the media business, because we’re generally dealing with people who don’t want to spend money. And “free” evokes a lot of emotion.
Clients and prospects might ask, “What do you offer for free to your customers?” And they might say, “If you could just write an article about us or feature us on that TV show we could advertise.”
I suggest this approach in my media sales training: “We have a free way to get that done for you.” And one of the publishers I work with uses this approach, “We don’t charge you for the video we’re going to shoot at that tradeshow. What we charge you for is the promotion we’re going to do around that video.”
Now this is a strong word. “I have a way to save you money,” is one approach I suggest using in my ad sales training. Or, “I have a way to save you time.”
Because if you can save somebody money and you can save them time, you’re going to be their hero.
“I want to create a long-term partnership with you,” is a great example of how to use this power word. Somebody recently said to me, though, that they think this word is overused. But they probably think so because we hear it in sales land all the time.
But I don’t think most people hear it all the time. So in media sales training I suggest saying, “I want to create a partnership with you to help you grow your business.”
Keep this in mind, though. Somebody recently made a valid point to me, saying, “Now, Ryan, ‘partnership’ implies I’m gonna give and you’re gonna give. And in the advertising business we’re going to be their partner because they pay us to be their partner.”
I understand that point. Partnerships aren’t always free. There’s a lot of work on both sides. Their work is to pay the bill, and our work as media sales pros is to deliver the media product. And in this type of scenario, it can be a good partnership.
Turnkey is a concept that’s vividly important for people to understand in selling and buying programmatic. It’s confusing, though. We get it in ad sales land, but most advertisers don’t get it.
So you might have to be specific, like this: “What we’re offering to you is a 100% turnkey media solution. You don’t have to do anything. You pay the bill; you sign the check. And we’ll handle everything from ad design, creative, launching, the whole deal.”
This is a very, very strong word. Use it carefully because not everything brings quality to the occasion. “We have a high-end solution that is more about ‘quality’ than it is ‘quantity,’” you might say.
In the media business, small is the new big. The smaller the list, the better the list and the higher quality the list. I stress in my ad sales training that today it’s more of a quality game than a quantity game.
In case you don’t follow me on this, I’d rather have 500 perfect emails to market to than 5.000 okay emails that I can spray and pray.
Let’s say one of your clients is in the newspaper business and they’ve gone from 10,000 to 5,000 readers. You can make the point that if these 5,000 have stuck around, they’re quality people. They’ve stuck around for a reason, and it’s important to point that out and to highlight the value that is there.
Here we are at power word No. 20. There’s almost no word, in my opinion, that I get a better reaction from. “I don’t hear people that make that ‘wise’ of an observation,” I might say.
Now, obviously, you can overuse this word, too. But it is a strong emotional word that lets people know you really think something about what they’re saying. In my media sales training I remind people, you’re reaffirming that your client has made a wise decision—and that’s powerful.
To close, as you look across these power words, you’ll realize that there are thousands out there. There are literally throngs of fabulous words, but these are the ones I see most often on power word lists.
Think about it and see which ones you like. Then put them into action today.
Remember, people can tell the intelligence of the people they’re talking to by the words they use. Expand your vocabulary–extend it. Find a word that you don’t use often in your conversation and weave it in—these are power words you can use in your ad sales business that can add up to powerful results.
If ad sales was easy, everyone would be doing it!
Your ad sales training coach, Ryan.
About this blogger:
Listen to Ryan’s ad sales podcast, Ad Sales Nation, on iTunes or on Soundcloud. Keep up to date with Ryan’s ad sales training advice on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/brainswell/
Ryan Dohrn is an award winning ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant, and an international motivational speaker. He is the author of the best-selling ad sales book, Selling Backwards. Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media and 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique ad sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting, and media revenue generation. Ryan is also the Publisher of http://salestrainingworld.com“>Sales Training World.
Ryan R. Dohrn
360 Ad Sales Training and Strategy
Brain Swell Media LLC
Follow him on Twitter.com/ryandohrn for daily tips and advice.