If you work in a sales job, effective communication should be a skill that you develop continuously throughout your career.

Whether it’s a one-on-one interview, a motivational speech to your team or a keynote address, your success will be determined by your ability to persuade with clarity and passion. If you want to stand out in the crowd, get promoted or develop an award-winning sales team, you’ll need to polish your communication, persuasion and selling skills.

The language of sales and how to use it

Whether you’re on a commission or a salary, your income and career advancement are linked to your selling skills, as well as your ability to communicate, build trust and persuade. You could be selling insurance or setting targets for your reps, but if you want to capture someone’s interest and gain consensus, you need to conjure clear and inspiring images.

To add dynamism and colour to your speech, use analogies, metaphors, stories and anecdotes to focus and stimulate the mind, keeping your listeners emotionally involved.

Four types of audience members

Not only do people with top selling skills have animated, dynamic language at their command, but they know how to tailor it to their audience.

One theory suggests humans have one of four temperaments: aggressive, expressive, passive or analytical. For leaders to influence colleagues and customers, they need to be able to quickly and accurately recognise these character types, and adapt their language to the different personalities in their audience.

  1. The aggressive style is results-oriented. They ask "what" questions, value achievement and fear loss of control. When presenting to this buying style, you should mention concepts like control, flexibility, the bottom line, power, challenge, speed, money, functionality, results, goals, options, hands-on elements, speed, freedom and immediacy.
  1. The expressive, emotional style is people-oriented. To use effective selling skills with this audience, you’ll be asking "who" questions, valuing recognition and understanding their fear of the loss of prestige. When presenting to this buying style, you should mention concepts like fun, creativity, friendliness, simplicity, prestige, the new, the ultimate, exclusivity, improvements, spontaneity, excitement, enjoyment, cash and adventure.
  1. The passive, harmonious style is service-oriented. They ask "how" questions, value appreciation and fear conflict. When presenting to this buying style, you should mention concepts like support, service, family, harmony, dependability, care, co-operation, helpfulness, ease, sincerity, love, kindness, concern, consideration, gentleness and relationship.
  1. The analytical, cautious style is quality-oriented. They ask "why" questions, value accuracy and fear being viewed as incompetent. When presenting to this buying style, you should mention concepts like safety, science, proof, value, learning, guarantees, saving, bargains, the economical, quality, logic, reliability, accuracy, perfection, security, precision and efficiency.

What are the magic phrases?

Audience-specific language can be reinforced with what marketing researchers have coined "magic words".

People with strong selling skills will be familiar with these power phrases, using them to create interest, generate enthusiasm and motivate people to take action.

Some people are born communicators, but most of us have to work on our communication skills. Developing the ability to speak with power and passion takes time and effort, but for sales professionals, the dividends will more than justify the dedication.


Contact one of our specialist sales recruitment consultants today to help with your sales job search.


Wherever or whatever you’re selling, being across the language of sales is essential.

  • Use dynamic language, metaphors, stories, analogies and power words to reach your audience emotionally
  • Become familiar with the four types of sales prospect: aggressive, expressive, passive, analytical

Internalise power words and phrases to connect with your audience  

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