Selling is Stuck

by Chris Arlen on September 7, 2011

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Selling is stuckThe words used by sales reps show that selling is stuck in the 1960’s with I Love Lucy and fender fins.

The words we choose dictate how we see, feel and behave. Here’s proof.

“The people you want to sell to are…

  • Prospects
  • Suspects
  • Leads

These words describe objects that sales reps want to:

  • Probe
  • Overcome
  • Close

Flash Forward – 2011

Buyers as not sales suspects

  • How would you feel if you were considered a “suspect”?
  • I’ll bet you shudder at the thought of a sales rep “probing” you
  • Whenever I’ve had anything “close” on me it was always painful

The New Sales Lexicon


  • Buyers buy for their customers
  • Buyers are not prospects, suspects, or leads – they are humans
  • They may not buy 24/7 – they buy when they’re ready


  • Sellers exist because there are buyers
  • Sellers do not probe, overcome, or close – they are humans too
  • Sellers help buyers make better buys

Can You Give Up “I Love Lucy”?

  • Can you give up sales terms that objectify people?
  • Can you give up words that describe a world that never was?
  • Would this help you sell more successfully?

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