Word, a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, has the power to make or break the deal.
The entire sales cycle depends on the words you use while engaging your prospects.
Stellar sales reps know the right set of words and use them at the right time while conversing with prospects. We call these words “trigger words” as they provoke action or thoughts in the minds of buyers.
In this article, we bring to you the top 25 trigger words that you can use to win your next deal.
But before we get into that, let’s define trigger words.
In this article:
What are trigger words?
When should salespeople use the trigger words?
Top 25 trigger words and how you can use them
► Positive trigger words
► Negative trigger words
► Logical trigger words
► Emotional trigger words
What are trigger words?
A trigger word is any word or phrase that prompts someone to take action. Trigger words when used during sales compel your listener to make a purchase decision or agree to a further discussion.
- Purchase or subscribe to your product/service
- Schedule a demo
- Subscribe to your email list
- Create a trial account
- Download material
Trigger words pique your audience’s interest and elicit an emotional response. People’s reactions to different kinds of terms are generally easy to predict.
For instance, listeners may respond to these words by opening up and establishing a connection. But it is also possible that certain phrases can elicit hostility and make listeners apprehensive.
That is why there are numerous publications on sales psychology available. When selling to a client, it’s critical to identify which terms to use and at what time. Trigger words can drive your prospects away if used at the wrong time.
Let me help you understand this.
When should you use the trigger words?
Successful sellers recognize that understanding buyers’ psychology is essential when selling. It’s all about instilling emotion in them, that will motivate them to buy your product.
Businesses go considerable lengths to learn how their customers decide whether or not to buy a product.
Trigger words are helpful tools to understand your customer’s needs.
Let’s consider two instances where the seller uses the word “free” while talking to a prospect.
- Buyer: Hello?
- Seller: Hi Mrs/Mr….. Are you available for a quick chat?
- Buyer: Yes, go on.
- Seller: I noticed that you had downloaded our ebook and wondered if you would like a free trial of our product.
- Buyer: Yes/No
A conversation like this might not help even though it has the trigger word—free—there.
It is because the buyer is looking for information, and not necessarily a product.
Now let’s refine the conversation.
- Buyer: Hello?
- Seller: Hi Mrs/Mr… Are you available for a quick chat?
- Buyer: Yes, go on.
- Seller: I noticed that you had downloaded our ebook and wondered what motivated you to download the resource.
- Buyer: Yeah, I was looking for information on… [Most probably the challenge they are facing]
- Seller: I see. Thank you for sharing this. I’m happy to tell you that we have solved this problem for one of our clients, who is in the same business as yours. Would you like to talk further? I can schedule a free consultation with the expert from our team.
- Buyer: Okay, sure!
Here, the seller has made the customer realize their challenges and then offered a solution with the trigger word—free. Conversations like this go a long way.
Knowing the trigger words and using them in the right context will certainly help you close more sales.
In the next section, we’ll explore the top 25 trigger words, and how to use them.
Top 25 trigger words and how you can use them
Positive trigger words
Positive trigger words are words that bring about a positive emotion or outcome for your listener. Following are some of the most powerful positive triggers:
People’s behavioral patterns shift if something free is available. According to Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational, “free” is more than just a price indicator. It’s a strong emotional trigger that is extensively appealing.
I’ll illustrate an experiment from the same book that was undertaken to examine the impact of the word “free.”
The first trial offered participants a truffle for 15 cents or a kiss for 1 cent. In this trial, nearly three out of four individuals preferred the truffle. In the following trial, the price of each chocolate dropped by one cent.
So, the truffles were 14 cents, and the kisses were free. Although the price difference remained constant, the participants’ behavior changed dramatically. Two-thirds of the subjects preferred the free chocolate kiss over the low-cost truffle.
Businesses can use the word “free” in many contexts. Such as:
- Free trial
- Free subscription months
- Free gift
- Freemium business models
Netflix and Amazon Prime both provide a month of free content with the freedom to cancel at any time. At the close of the free trial period, many consumers end up paying for their membership to continue watching series and movies.
So, now you know the power of the word “free.”
Let’s check out the next trigger word to use in your sales journey.
The term “boost” has a positive meaning of charisma, vigor, and self-assurance. For example, the phrase “Our product is terrific when it comes to boosting conversions” is far better than the phrase: “Our product is terrific at increasing conversions.”
This is because the word “boost” feels more empowering to hear.
The word easy is especially helpful in times of distress or confusion.
Here’s how you can use this word in your conversation with prospects.
“You can easily solve [their problem] with [your solution].”
“Yes, you can easily track calls and generate conversion reports with our call-center software.”
Now imagine a customer has an objection about the complexity of your product. In this scenario, using the word isn’t enough.
You must demonstrate why and how easy the product is to your client. If your product is naturally complex and does require time, you can pivot to the word—discover.
Discover brings about a feeling of the unknown and its exciting opportunities. The word discover is closely associated with the second-highest need in Maslow’s hierarchy.
Our second-highest need, according to Maslow, is our need for higher self-esteem. This means that most of your clients are likely to want to meet their esteem needs.
If you can convince your client of your product’s ability to help meet this need, you’ve got a deal.
Here’s how you can use this trigger word in your conversation with a client.
“You should try this water bottle for a day at least. And you’ll discover how easy it is to carry and track your daily water intake.”
The word new can make us excited just about anything. People crave new experiences. We enjoy using innovative and new-age technology. We relish learning about new products and being the first to learn about them.
That is why this word is effective. Sumo ran a Twitter exercise to see what difference the term new made. They made one post with the word “new” and one without it.
As expected, the post with the keyword “new” got 422% more clicks and attention.
Some other positive trigger words you can use are:
The word “save” makes us feel like we are getting a good deal. For example:
“I bought a vase for $60 last week!”
“I bought a vase last week, and its original price was $100. But I snagged it for $60 and saved $40!”
Who do you think got a better deal? Most of us can agree that it sounds like the second person got a better deal. The second person knows they are saving $40 when purchasing the vase. Everyone loves a good deal and the word “save” implies that they are indeed getting a deal. You can also induce the anchoring effect with the word save.
The “anchoring effect” refers to a person’s inclination to make decisions based on the earliest piece of information they hear. Shopping, both online or at a retail store, usually entails a frequent comparison of costs.
The starting price a buyer witnesses tends to becomes their consistent frame of reference. So, start high, and give them a deal they like.
The word exciting feels like a no-brainer on this list. Any opportunity, product feature or new service sounds a lot better with the word “exciting” beside it. Think about it, whenever a company launches a new feature, they don’t just call it new.
On your next call, try adding the word exciting. Start off with, “Hey I have an exciting…” and they’ll stick around to hear the end of that sentence.
The key to knowing how to persuade someone to say “yes” is to obtain an initial commitment. This initial step can lead to agreement not only through the concept of consistency, but also to additional compliance for greater requests. Begin with a small “yes,” and then build from there.
This is often referred to as the “foot-in-the-door” tactic by salespeople. Start by encouraging your client to commit to a minor request. The yes can be for something as simple as answering a questionnaire or taking a free trial.
You create a new cognitive “commitment” by encouraging individuals to make a choice, express a stance, or perform actions. After you establish that commitment, regardless how modest, you can improve on it.
Which of these questions sounds better?
“What’s the best way to get rid of bed bugs?”
“How to get rid of bed bugs?”
We can all hopefully agree that we want answers to the first question. Consider the number of days you’ve Googled things just to become frustrated along the process. So, you return to your search and add the term “best” in front of it. Perhaps it’s only me, but I have a suspicion that I’m not alone in this.
It’s almost like “best” is a term we reserve for well, the best. As a result, we can rely on anything classified as the best. All of us know that’s not entirely true. But calling anything the best suggests there was a comparison at some point. So, try using the word best in your next conversation.
Showing customers your most popular products can significantly increase your sales.
This increase is generally caused by our need to comply with social proof. Author Robert Cialdini coined the term “social proof” in his book Influence in 1984. And it basically means that we tend to follow trends and opinions of influencers in our lives or on our screens.
We use social evidence as a quick way to decide how to act in practically any situation. Social proof is especially powerful if we are in unfamiliar or new territory.
And you can capitalise on that with a single word in your sales: Popular.
The above list gives us a picture of positivity that can drive a buyer to carry out a specific action. These words can steer your sales pitch into a demo or “free” trial.
Apart from this, it’s always good to know a bit about your prospects when selling. Using tools like CRMs or Analytical sales software can be a game-changer when selling.
A great sales CRM is LeadSquared, which allows you to call, track conversations, and do quality audits easily.
If you want to see how it can help your sales team, book a quick 20-minute demo.
Next, let’s move on to the list of negative trigger words.
Negative trigger words
Certain negative words like never, limited, challenges, etc. can also trigger actions or thoughts.
Let’s look at some of the effective ones.
The word never can sound negative and off-putting at first glance. But when you use it in conversation, the context makes all the difference. Imagine your customer is facing a problem your product solves successfully.
The best word to use in this scenario is “never”. You could say something along the lines of:
“Once you use our product, you’ll never have to worry about that issue again.”
The word challenge brings about the idea of overcoming something difficult. In contrast, the word “problem” sounds like a threat.
Behavioral psychologists believe that seeing threats (problems) as challenges reduces stress. Try to get your customers to view stressful situations as challenges. Even better if your product can directly help them overcome these challenges.
Here’s how you can use it:
“I understand, the only challenge now is the color. What if, I check with the dealership in the neighboring cities and get back to you in a couple of days?”
The word limited has proven its efficacy in sales. Stephen Worchel ran a study where subjects had two almost identical jars of cookies. The sole difference was that one had ten cookies, whereas the other had two.
Once questioned which jar they desired, subjects chose the jar with two cookies. This is due to the assumption that if there is less of anything, it has to be in greater demand. As a result, it must be more valuable.
The word “limited” acts as a trigger to a similar reaction in sales.
Some of the ways in which you can use the word “limited” are:
- Limited edition
- Limited period offer
- Limited for first 1000 customers
The word end, similar to never, depends on its context. You should use it sparingly in most cases. But if your customer is struggling with an issue your product solves, the perfect phrase to trigger sales is:
“We can help you put an end to that issue.”
It can bring some much-needed relief to their stressful feelings. While you seamlessly pitch your product to your client.
The word tiring can bring up some negative emotions in everyone. But it is also an excellent tool to express your empathy for any issues your customer faces.
If your product helps people daily, there’s a high chance they feel tired without it. So, a great phrase to counter such feelings is:
“I’m sorry, that must feel tiring to go through daily. How can I help you fix that?”
Logical trigger words
A researcher at Harvard University examined how the word because creates an impact. In the study, a participant made the following requests.
- Request 1: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the xerox machine?”
- Request 2: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”
- Request 3: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”
The participant could cut the queue with Request 1 by almost 60% of the subjects. Request 3 received a whopping 94% compliance rate. What’s the most intriguing part?
Even when the researcher used the word “because” without providing any good justification, they still obtained a 93% compliance rate.
Using the word “because” can drive people to perform your desired action. Sales get a lot easier when you throw the word “because” into the mix.
If you remember any of your toothpaste ads, the word expert always makes an appearance. The word expert acts as a trigger to most listeners searching for a solution.
When experts believe in something, there’s a good reason you should too. The term “expertise” can have a similar effect on listeners.
Here’s an example of how you can use the word “expert” in your script.
“I completely understand the challenge you’re facing is mainly because of no control over the field teams. Experts also suggest that field tracking is important when you aggressively target a market…”
The word research can have a lasting impact when backed by a credible source. In this article, I’ve used experiments or studies as a means of proving my stance. Additionally, I’ve provided links to the source of these findings.
The word research appeals most to decision-makers. This is because they are looking for evidence of your solution working in a way that benefits them. So, in your next demo meeting, show up with some research and use the word abundantly.
Here’s how you can use this word.
“We did some research around the market you are targeting and found…”
Note, you could have also said, “We checked your target market.” But by using the word research, you appear more thorough. Hence, one more positive signal to the buyer.
Which steak is the best? A steak that has 25% fat, Or one that’s 75% lean?
According to a study, consumers were more inclined to purchase the 75% lean steak. Rather than the 25% fat steak, although they are the same steak. (Johnson and Levin, 1985; Levin et al., 1985).
Individuals act differently to an item or idea depending on how we view them. This is what we refer to as the framing effect bias.
So, instead of framing your products negatively, frame them positively. You can use statistics to make your product seem more appealing to your customer.
Any version of the word proof like proven or prove can be compelling to most listeners. Much like the phrase “experts agree”, “proof” is almost always persuasive to an executive.
But you do need to offer evidence of your claims in this scenario. Proof is a terrific term to use when you’re facing higher-ups or people who prefer logical appeals.
So these were some of the effective logical trigger words. Now let’s move on to the words that strike the emotions directly.
Emotional trigger words
The term exclusive is similar to the term—limited. As they both function on the scarcity principle.
The concept of exclusivity has always increased the price of cars and clothing. So, how much do individuals prioritize rare goods? According to Chicago Booth’s and London School of Economics’, enough to pay a markup of 50% or above. The explanation represents a fundamental component of human nature.
By using the trigger word “exclusive” and creating a highly personalized pitch, you have a high chance of winning more deals.
Here are some of ways in which you can use this word.
- This is an exclusive offer for the friends and family of our founding team members
- An exclusive offer for people born in September
- We’ve created this exclusive offer just for you
22. You/Your customer’s name
The word you or your name affects your emotions like no other. Based on brain activation studies, few things excite us more than hearing our names. Our names are inextricably linked to our self-perception.
Additionally, our names constitute a significant portion of our identity. It’s no surprise that when our name appears in communication, we are more trusting.
Sales reps use this word unconsciously all the time. This makes it a subtle but special tool in your pitch. In your next sale, try to use your customers’ names as often as possible.
There are two kinds of urgency: genuine and implied. An instance of true urgency is when a deal ends in 24 hours, after which it will no longer exist.
When you use phrases like “now” and “today” to urge people to act, you are implying urgency.
There is no genuine hurry, yet we believe there is a reason to act immediately. Genuine urgency will always be more effective. But, suggesting that they should buy now, or try now can provide a nudge in the right direction.
Sales executives need to sell an idea of urgency to most buyers. Using the word now can boost that feeling and help you win more deals.
Have you ever heard the phrase “nails on a chalkboard” and shuddered simply thinking about it? Just thinking about it makes you feel a bit strained. That is not a standard reaction.
We react this way because of mirror neurons. A mirror neuron is one that generally activates when we act. But these neurons fire even when we see somebody else performing the same action”
That is when the power of the next trigger word comes into play: “Imagine.” Mirror neurons allow us to feel without the need for firsthand experience.
Therefore, if you can make someone feel, you can make them act. Using this word when selling a physical product is ideal as we can imagine its appearance.
In sales, you can use the emotional trigger word—imagine—in the following ways:
- “Imagine the additional revenue you’d be bringing every month”
- “Imagine the time you’d save. Then, perhaps, you could take that vacation or spend time with family.”
Several MRI tests show how active our mid-brain becomes when we picture instant gratification. When we wait for anything, our frontal cortex reacts (which is a bad idea for sales).
Words like “instantly” and “immediately” are triggers for activating that mid-brain activity. Using compelling words to alert clients that they will receive their product promptly is always beneficial.
Even saying that someone will contact them ASAP can go a long way in sales and marketing.
Knowing these words and how to apply them in your sales calls can pay off big time. But it is critical to listen to your customers before using these words.
Three keywords you should keep in mind while selling is:
- Anticipate. Prepare and anticipate what they might need. Segmenting and distributing leads to the right sales rep can make an enormous difference. Researching what your customer prefers can help you appeal to their triggers (positive, emotional, logical, or negative).
- Listen. Customers tend to dislike dealing with pitches they aren’t expecting. If they are busy or uninterested, move on to someone who is. If they ask you to call back when they are free, quickly agree. Actively listening to your client will help you sell seamlessly.
- Empathize. Empathy is essential when your customers are facing a problem. In these scenarios, do not jump right into your sales pitch. Instead, acknowledge their pain and explain that you can help them overcome it.
I hope you found this list of top 25 trigger words helpful. If you have a question or suggestion, feel free ( ) to write to me.