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The Word ‘TRY’ and Why it’s Not Good Enough when Making a Sale

“Try and you might succeed”— the age-old adage we’ve all heard, that frankly doesn’t inspire much confidence. More so, is not enough when making a sale.

When you say, “I will try” to a prospective client or even an existing client, you might as well just go right out and say, “I’m most likely going to fail and disappoint you”.

“I will try” automatically brings to mind all those times people have disappointed us and compensated by saying, “I tried”. It is giving yourself space to fall short of your goals.

‘Try’ leaves people in the dark. It’s a word that lacks TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY. When someone says ‘try’, it is like an all-encompassing disclaimer that you’ll put in some effort, but what that effort is exactly, no one knows.

So, when we say ‘try’, we are avoiding the details, omitting the plan, and in some ways, condescending to our prospects. It’s like ending a sentence with ‘or something’ where you completely discredit and remove confidence from anything said before that.

BUT your clients deserve to know how their money is being spent and they also deserve to have the methodology explained to them in plain language.

Empowered vs Disempowered sales and marketing

So, what should you do if you want to succeed in making a sale? Engage ABOVE the line communications.

DROP the word TRY.

Instead of “I will try to meet you on Thursday”, simply say “I will meet you on Thursday”.

And if you want to take it a step further do this:

Instead of using ‘TRY’…use, ‘BECAUSE’

In 2012, social psychologist and Harvard professor, Ellen Langer conducted a study about how the phrasing of requests resulted in different outcomes when it came to letting people cut in line. The study involved a line for a photocopier with a simple question re-phrased three times:

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”

The first question garnered a 60% success rate, meanwhile the second and third received a 93% and 94% success rate respectively. (Tenfold)

Lesson: A more powerful way of saying “I will try to [insert result] by [insert action]” is to say, “I WILL [insert action] BECAUSE it will [insert result]”.

Even if you are dealing with technical and complex systems, the word ‘BECAUSE” should come easy if it’s a worthwhile pursuit for your clients.

Why should they invest in you?

  • “Because it will save you money”
  • “Because you will avoid …”
  • “Because it will fix … problem”
  • “Because it will increase…”

‘Because’ is the justification and motivation behind every action.

Use ‘Because’ because it shows that you’re 100% focused on providing value to your clients.

Choosing words wisely and powerfully is the difference between a salesperson and a sales expert and how the latter gets ahead when it comes to making a sale. We specialise in creating the core of your professional communications so you can extract value from it for years.

If you’re ready to hire a professional, Ryan Devlin and Hunt & Hawk know what words elicit feeling, are true to your personality and ultimately sell. Talk to us today about professional communications for your business, because the right tone, voice & messaging for your business is just waiting to be discovered. Alternatively, if you are wanting to learn more about the ins and outs of making a sale, make sure you follow the Hunt & Hawk Linkedin Page.


We look forward to hearing from you soon.