“Choosing your words wisely can sell an idea.”
Speak Like A CEO by Suzanne Bates, page 117
I have come to the point where I have developed a pretty clear list of likes and dislikes when it comes to word choice. I guess that comes with bumping into more than a handful of people over the last 68 years. I have had the privilege of seeing many admirable traits among my peers, associates, and competitors. I have also been witness to a number of indiscretions that I don’t care to comment on today.
I would like to take a moment or two to remind you how important your word selection is when communicating to people who are responsible for your eating habits (Customers). I am afraid that many of you show a tendency to take the easy way or the low road. I am not suggesting that you impress me with your vocabulary. Quite the contrary. Small words carry a lot of weight.
What exactly do I mean by word choice? Here are a few examples:
You go above and beyond for a client and as a result they are extremely pleased. They make it a point to thank you for your efforts.
You say: “No problem.” Dumb response. This is such an empty phrase. Of course wasn’t a problem, but it did take some effort on your part. Better to say: “You’re welcome.” This says it all. Nothing more needs to be said.
You are asked if you recommend the ABC Hotel given the set of circumstances. You respond with the word, “Yes.” Although the word “yes” is far superior to the word “yeah,” it pales in comparison and forcefulness to the word “Absolutely.” You have just made it perfectly clear to me that I would not be making a mistake following your advice.
Here is one more example before going to the video. You ask your client if they enjoyed the itinerary you planned for them. They respond with the phrase, “It was fine.” Fine? Fine is for root canals. There are so many better words than fine. You could use excellent, fantastic, superb, incredible, second-to-none, life-changing, and more. You get the idea. Your job is to pump a little juice into the conversation. Start classifying “fine” as another four letter word beginning with the letter “f.” Some words you just don’t want to use.
I have never done this before in this column, but I am urging you to go check out a short YouTube video that will definitely speak for itself when it comes to word choice. Please (please) go check this video out now:
(Not later. Now.)
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