As we’ve set off to a new year, it’s best to give the next 365 days a positive head-start.
Making a great impression and projecting confidence is an inseparable part when it comes to your customer relationships. Communication is key, and so the language you use has a huge trail of how your audience perceives you. You wouldn’t want to blot out your credibility and trust over a few phrases that will dull your impact.
With the hopes that you agree, here are the conversion sabotaging phrases and words you should immediately remove from your business interactions.
1. “Trust me/us.”
Use this phrase and you might as well tell your customers not to trust you.
These 2 words stimulate the suspicion reflex. You may come off as dishonest. Trust shouldn’t be asked for but earned.
You may also come across as patronizing as though you know the answer, but don’t care to explain it and think they won’t understand. Two options that will slay your credibility, so let’s dump them, shall we?
2. “This offer/promotion won’t last forever.”
This is one pushy phrase. Buyers will see straight through you and raise an eyebrow for two reasons:
1. They won’t believe you.
2. They don’t like to be rushed into buying.
There are positive ways to deadline an offer – “keep in mind that offer ends on…” or “two days left for…”.
3. “Don’t miss this opportunity!”
This phrase is used quite often, I’m afraid. To begin a phrase using a negative word like “don’t” is highly inadvisable when your goal is to make a sale. You may come across once again as being too pushy.
This phrase can be easily refined into “This is a wonderful opportunity to…”, for example. Avoid using negative words on sales phrases.
4. Intensifiers vs. Hedges
These are words that either overpraise or your credibility.
According to Business Insider:
Intensifiers: “Really,” “definitely,” “absolutely,” and “totally”
Something about intensifiers just screams “effort”. It’s like you need to convince your customers of how really really amazing your message is, which ultimately makes you look either over-dramatic or just plain unreliable.
Hedges: “Sort of,” “kind of,” “pretty much,” and “maybe”
Are you dodging something or just losing confidence? Avoid hedges because they portrait insecurity and lack of commitment. Your message needs to be strong and solid, not doubtful and indecisive.
5. “This is the best, the hottest, the most, highest numbers…”
Avoid exaggerating and overselling. Remember, your efforts are showing and will surely turn your audience off. Inflated numbers and unrealistic stats won’t boost your credibility, only raise questions and suspicions. People value sincerity, an eye-level approach. They can smell dishonesty from a mile away. By all means, if the numbers are through the roof and you have a lot to show for, do. Present your awesome data the right way, avoiding bragging too much and using words like “guaranteed” and “definitely”.
6. Beware of “Free”
The word “Free” can baffle. It can either hook skepticism (“Why is it free? What’s the catch?”) or thrill (“Free samples, free trial period”). “Free” usually generates conversions, however, it comes down to how you use it. Is what you’re offering really free, or are you just saying it is to attract conversions? Explain why it’s free to keep people from wondering.
Website builders, for instance, offer to create a website for free. However, a standalone domain, advanced customization options, and extra plug-ins require a paid subscription. For this reason, alone, it’s safest to offer “Free” alongside paid options. This comes across as a lot more credible.
Another thing with “Free” is that it trips spam filters in email messaging.
7. “Save Time & Money”
This phrase is completely generic and overused. As WordStreams’ Brad Smith puts it “it takes a piece of everything bad from the previous words and rolls them up into one terrifyingly conversion-repellent Frankenstein.”
Save Time & Money” is a lazy attempt to squeeze in 2 benefits in one phrase. It also loses effect because it juggles between two target audiences, and thus breaks the very first rule of copywriting that says you should write to one particular audience. If you want to target more than one audience, do the full-on research and dive deep into what fancies your specific audience. Customers are clever. They don’t easily bite into saving time and money because they know they probably won’t be saving either. It’s time to seriously invest in your message and not go for the too old and too familiar phrases, such as this one.
These 7 are just the core of a longer list containing more words and phrases that kill credibility. Make sure to widen your search if delivering an honest and solid message is what you aim for. Keep in mind, credibility lasts a long time. No matter the sequence of events, your customers will remember you for being loyal, confident, trustworthy and targeted – the perfect upshot of any marketer.