Search
  • Brett Zalaski

3 Words to NEVER Say in Ticket Sales


Had an interesting question during a virtual sales training I was doing for an MLB team this summer that I marked in my notes. During a session which I teach on why powerful, vivid language matters, a rep asked a question:


If these are the types of things I SHOULD say...what are things I should avoid saying?


I had a couple thoughts in the moment...but went back and thought about it a lot more after. There are ABSOLUTELY things we say that we shouldn't all the time in sales. No one word is going to kill a sale...most of the time. So my focus was on the question; What words COULD KILL a sale?


  1. Kind of: Throughout the course of a conversation, this overused expression CRUSHES the impact of what you're saying. We say it as a buffer, but instead of cushioning it undercuts EVERYTHING that comes immediately before or after it. But it's not a killer until the end. I can't begin to tell you how many reps use it as part of their close. 'So would you, I don't know, kind of want to lock that in today?' CUT THAT CRAP! All you are doing is introducing doubt into their decision...which is exactly the opposite of what a close should be.

  2. But: Candidly, this is the one I need to work on the most. Most commonly found around objection handling, the word but is IMMEDIATELY contradictory. In sales, the goal is to feel like the two of you are sitting on the same side of the table. But immediately puts you at odds, at opposite ends of the table. I've seen great conversations crushed by this simple word. It makes people straighten up and get defensive. Don't ever do that. I'm looking right back at you, Brett.

  3. No: Here's something we don't talk about enough in sales. It's never our job to say 'No.' Our job is to make sure that job is our bosses. Our job is to say 'Yes' or 'I'll run that by my boss' as much as you possibly can. When you start saying, 'No' yourself, no matter how ridiculous whatever they say is, you, just like with 'but', are sitting opposed to your client...not with your client. Say 'Maybe'. Say 'I'll talk to my boss'. Say 'I'll see what I can do'. Do NOT say 'No'.

What else? What other words are sales killers? These were three that stood out to me...but I'm sure there are tons of others.