Words That Win (Part Two)
By Michael Dalton Johnson

 

What are the most persuasive words in sales and advertising? An interesting question. Legendary advertising genius David Olgivy found the words below to be particularly persuasive. (I've added a few of my own favorites.)

Whether spoken or written, some words are more compelling than others. Consider using these winners when you are drafting your next script, prospecting or direct marketing letter. (See complete list of suggestions below.) "New" and "FREE" (yes, all caps) always pique buyer interest. Use of words and phrases that create a sense of urgency also pays off.

free
suddenly
quick
successful
quickly
gift
easy
complete
easily
lifetime
immediately
absolutely
only (price)
now
magic
announcing
offer
introducing
miracle
improvement
easy
amazing
wanted
sensational
challenge
remarkable
compare
revolutionary
bargain
startling
hurry
secret
you
new

Literary types cringe when they read or hear cliché-ridden sales pitches . However, clichés sell. They don't require the buyer to do a lot of thinking. Terms such as, "We will not be undersold," "Limited time offer," "Don't miss this deal," "Free gift" (the fact that all gifts are free, doesn't really matter.), "We'll beat any offer," "Nobody beats these prices," and "Only a few left in stock at this price" are like fingernails being drawn across a blackboard for English professors.

Be that as it may, if advertising and sales pitches were less effusive they would not work as well. Clichés sell. If they didn't, they wouldn't be so widely used.

A note of caution: Know your audience. If you are pitching professionals such as doctors or engineers avoid over-the-top cliches.

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Excerpted from Rules of the Hunt. Available at Amazon.

     
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