Let’s play a word association game. What would you say if I asked you to describe a salesman in one word?

If you’re like most people the words sleazy, slimeball, moneymaker, or pushy come to mind.

Salesmen don’t have a great reputation. Yet as an entrepreneur, you’re forced to operate as one on a daily basis.

  • Every time someone asks you what you do for a living, you’re selling her on the idea of your business.
  • Every time you meet someone who should use what you have to offer, you’re selling her your goods (or services).
  • Every time you talk to someone, you’re selling her on your smarts and status within your industry… because you never know who she might refer to your business!

Yep, like it or not, you’re a salesman.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless you’re lumped into the stereotypical type of salesman that comes to mind (see above for a reminder on why that’s a bad thing).

The problem is, sleazy sales work. They’ve worked for decades and they continue to work. To find a healthy balance between falling into the trap of becoming the type of salesman that makes people avoid eye contact with you when you walk in the room, you need to watch your words.

Watch Your Sales Words

The way you communicate on your website, in your sales emails, and in person says a lot about you. It shows how you operate and how much you believe in what you sell.

Although you never (seriously… NEVER) want to fall into the trap of becoming a sleazeball, there are a few lessons you can take from the playbooks of the top salesmen in controversial industries.

Why controversial? Because they spark the biggest reaction among their customers.

For you to make a strong name for yourself and bring in the big bucks, you can’t run from controversy. You need to use words that give your copy feeling and stir up emotion in your readers. To do that effectively, here are 100 words that are safe enough to use without looking sleazy, but spicy enough to make you look enticing.

Help ‘em visualize what it’s like to work with you

Using experiential words, you make people instantly envision themselves in an experience when buying from you.

  • Apocalypse
  • Armageddon
  • Bloodbath
  • Bloodcurdling
  • Uncensored
  • Thrilling
  • Tantalizing
  • Famous
  • Notorious
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Red-carpet
  • Fantasize

Push the boundaries

There are certain words that sound innocent enough given the context, but they still trigger a heightened emotion when people hear them. Push the boundaries and use these words to conjure up excitement.

  • Spicy
  • Crave
  • Enticing
  • Sinful
  • Scandalous
  • Provocative
  • Steamy
  • Spine-tingling
  • Blissful
  • Mind-blowing
  • Sexy
  • Moaning
  • Tantalizing

Tap into their fears

Fear-mongering works. Everyone is afraid of something. When you know what that something is, use these words to harness the fear and turn it into a sale.

  • Frightening
  • Terrifying
  • Prison
  • Beat
  • Assault
  • Crazy
  • Danger
  • Blundering
  • Jeopardy
  • Invasion
  • Dumb
  • High-risk
  • Perilous
  • Invisible
  • Demon
  • Chilling
  • Forbidding
  • Menacing

Make ‘em feel amazing

Nothing gets more people excited than feeling like they’re doing something right. Excite your reader and make them feel warm and fuzzy using these words.

  • Sensational
  • Delightful
  • Courageous
  • Charming
  • Breathtaking
  • Beautiful
  • Stunning
  • Gorgeous
  • Dazzling
  • Magnificent
  • Brilliant
  • Intense
  • Unworldly
  • Divine
  • Godly

Indulge in their anger

Misery loves company. When your customer is angry, fed-up and sick of dealing with something, indulge them by joining along with their frustrations using these words.

  • Abuse
  • Arrogant
  • Bullshit
  • Revolting
  • Disgusting
  • Repulsive
  • Smug
  • Superior
  • Ruthless
  • Stuck up
  • Obnoxious
  • Frenzy
  • Boorish
  • Turmoil
  • Rage

Show ‘em the goods

What do people want more than anything in the world? Money, love, fame, and fortune. Give them what they crave with these words.

  • Free
  • Skyrocket
  • Soar
  • Jackpot
  • Winning
  • Explosion
  • Dollar bills
  • Luxury
  • Lavish
  • Rich
  • Abundant
  • Gift
  • Bonanza

Give them peace of mind

When all is said and done, nothing is more enticing than a restful night of sleep knowing that you are in good hands. Your customers want to feel safe with you. Show them they can trust you with these words.

  • Moneyback
  • Refund
  • Lifetime
  • Proven
  • Verified
  • Certified
  • Secure
  • Fail-safe
  • Social proof
  • Best-selling
  • Top-seller
  • Most requested
  • Guaranteed
  • Surefire

That’s it! Interchange any of these words with some of your boring, wornout sales copy and watch your conversions soar!

What other words would you add to this list?

 

 

About the author: Kimberly Crossland

photo-1

“I’m Kimberly Crossland, owner, writer, and operator of The Savvy Copywriter, LLC. My full time job as a copywriter and content marketer is to save savvy entrepreneurs without a clue (or interest) in the Internet from destroying their business with a terrible or nonexistent website.

Fun Bits About Me

I have an unnatural obsession with the power of words.
You don’t want to talk to me first thing in the morning if I haven’t had a cup of coffee.
I speak two languages: English and Danish.
My other job titles include wife and dog-walker.
It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to get me to want to travel somewhere new and fun.
I follow the paleo diet, but I LOVE chocolate, cookies, and wine.”

This article was first published by Kimberly Crossland

2 replies
  1. Barry Robinson
    Barry Robinson says:

    When I was knee high to a cockroach I was on the committee of Australia’s leading creative membership club. British Ad legend and my hero, the now late David Abbott (DEEP SIGH AND SADNESS) was in Australia at the Club’s request and it was my enviable task to treat him as a much welcomed guest. In the few hours we chatted he said many things including (and I need to paraphrase), “Start editing by searching for and deleting your adjectives. If you need to use too many adjectives it’s more than likely a signal your copy lacks something. For me, I find too many of the words listed are like those adjectives David mentioned. Lke when a garnish is used to give a bland recipe some zip when the best approach is to change the recipe so no cover-up-garnish is required. I also believe rather than descibe something is THRILLING it’s better to write something people can experiece like (for demonstration purposes only) , “… attempting to speak was useless.”

    Reply
    • Kimberly
      Kimberly says:

      It’s always a sad day when the world loses someone great. My favorite piece of advice from David Abbot (SO awesome you got to meet him!) is “Don’t be boring.” I agree, splattering adjectives throughout copy to try to make it sound good won’t work. These words (and the thousands of other adjectives) need to be used with thought and intention. The goal with these is to get your mind thinking so you can punctuate experience and stir emotion… because THAT is what drives sales.

      Reply

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