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Wanna Sell More? Think with Better Words!

Use lousy words to describe what you experience and you're programming yourself to produce lousy results. Use powerful words to describe those same experiences and you're programming yourself to be more successful.

Earlier this week, I gave some advice about rejection in "Personal Rejection is an Illusion." That advice was so basic that I almost didn't post it. Even so, some readers thought the post was just some sort of word game. Behold:

"I feel that you were circling around the term rejection and trying to convince us that it doesn't exist. What you say later in the anecdote about the girl confirms rejection, and with the recruiter, it is rejection because you were not chosen." (comment by Bob Wileman)

"Honestly Geoffrey, it read like you were skirting round the issue and just playing around with words. If a girl you ask out says no, it doesn't matter whether you call it rejection or you not fitting her rules - it hurts." (comment by Ian Brodie)

Well, gentlemen, that's simply not the case.

It's crazy to cling to the word "rejection" -- with all its negative connotations -- to characterize an event that's inevitable in selling situations. Here's why...


Words have power. The words you use to describe your experience, define your experience. And if you're defining your experience as failure and rejection, you're going to get more of it.

When you choose to use a word "rejection" to characterize a sales opportunity that doesn't move forward, you're programming your brain to feel bad about the experience of selling.

And if you feel bad about the experience of selling, you're far less likely to approach the next opportunity with a positive frame of mind.

The word "rejection" carries emotional baggage; it implies and emphasizes a negative emotional state. It's related to words like "dejection", "ejection", "subjection" -- all of which have a negative twist.

By contrast, if you use a word like "speedbump" to describe the exact same event, you're telling your brain (and your emotional self) that you're traveling on the road to success.

And you'll be far more effective next time you talk to a customer.

As for the example from the earlier post -- my being turned down when I asked a pretty woman for a date -- Ian is being highly presumptuous to assume that the experience "hurt."

Never, at any point, did I characterize my experience to myself as being in a state of "hurt." Quite the contrary. I was proud of myself for having the nerve to ask her out, and a trifle irritated that her reaction was ungracious.

Note what I italicized in the paragraph above. Those are the actual words I used to describe the experience to myself at the time.

Rather than using words like "hurt," I used better words to characterize the experience as something having to do with HER limitations.

And guess what? A week later, I was dating someone else, equally attractive and who had better manners, mostly because I didn't allow myself to wallow in negative phraseology.

So when I say that "Personal Rejection is an Illusion", I'm not talking semantics I'm giving you a way to neutralize (and hopefully eliminate from your vocabulary) a toxic word that creates failure.

Look, you've got to be VERY careful what words you let run rampant through your brain.

Make sure your mental vocabulary sets you up for success.

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