The 4 Most Powerful Words for Closing Sales

We’ve seen the lists. All those words that grab attention and spark those triggers deep in our psyche that get us to buy sooner than later. You know what I’m talking about: free, limited time, guaranteed, exclusive, discount … the list goes on. But do you know the words that are most likely to close sales that have nothing to do with price?

Progressive Insurance employs this psychology quite well. Instead of just giving you a quote for their coverage, they give you quotes for their competitors, and wrap them up all with a final statement, “But you are free” to choose whichever company you think is best for you. Even when their price is higher, most people choose Progressive, because it has empowered them with information, earned their trust with transparency and recognized their ability to make wise choices. It makes sense, and a lot of dollars.

Actionables that “You Are Free” to execute on this principle include:

  • Inform: Change your sales pitch to an informative, objective presentation of facts that guides customers through the decision process related to your product category.
  • Involve: Engage customers in your business before they have to commit. Set up free consultations, live chats with meaningful conversations vs. just sales support, and help them feel part of the process vs. a target for salespeople needing to reach a quota.
  • Ignite: As you validate your customers’ ability to make wise choices and your role as their partner not vendor, ignite even more enthusiasm for your brand by involving customers in your business. Invite them to provide feedback about how you can improve your products or service, showing them you value their insights not just their money.

Doing the above steps and applying the BYAF approach makes customers feel like part of your brand family, and a trusted advisor to you, creating bonds of mutual respect and equity in your success, as well as their own. And we all know that when you become partners vs. “vendors and customers,” you are much better poised for sustainable relationships that secure lifetime value and profitable referrals.

Author: Jeanette McMurtry

Jeanette McMurtry is a psychology-based marketing expert providing strategy, campaign development, and sales and marketing training to brands in all industries on how to achieve psychological relevance for all aspects of a customer's experience. She is the author of the recently released edition of “Marketing for Dummies” (Fifth Edition, Wiley) and “Big Business Marketing for Small Business Budgets” (McGraw Hill). She is a popular and engaging keynote speaker and workshop instructor on marketing psychology worldwide. Her blog will share insights and tactics for engaging B2B and B2C purchasers' unconscious minds which drive 90 percent of our thoughts, attitudes and behavior, and provide actionable and affordable tips for upping sales and ROI through emotional selling propositions. Her blog will share insights and tactics for engaging consumers' unconscious minds, which drive 90 percent of our thoughts and purchasing attitudes and behavior. She'll explore how color, images and social influences like scarcity, peer pressure and even religion affect consumers' interest in engaging with your brand, your message and buying from you. Reach her at

14 thoughts on “The 4 Most Powerful Words for Closing Sales”

  1. Nice stuff Jeanette! Not only is it the control factor but it avoids a subject near and dear to my heart and that is change management. Change is a difficult thing for most. You may or may not know that every sale results in change. The method you describe makes change a free choice and the prospects do not realize it.

    1. Great point Wally. Change is the premise of all the psychology based marketing strategies I create as we humans settle into comfort zones so easily…its part of our survival. Those that can take risks change the world while the rest just simply exist in it.

      1. hi

        Please list the words rather 3 I ‘s in…..i cannot believe people read such articles. Stronly recommend three words my experience goes like this … Go for it, We are different, Gain a lot..

        So use these and see the difference in your sales.. !!!

  2. Very, very interesting article (already Evernoted it!). One often forgets that beneath the multiple messaging layers, sits the one –and decisive– key factor: the ego.

    1. Thank you email. Flattered and honored. Love your comment that beneath us all is our EGO. As Freud explains it, our ID and EGO drive all our behavior, even as much as we don’t want to accept or admit it.

  3. Hi Flavia, thanks for your input. Psychologically, we humans need a lot of reinforcement in ways we are not aware. To me, the research I pointed out validates that we respond when people tap into our unconscious drivers to feel in charge of our lives, intellectual enough to make wise choices, and respected by others. Some interesting reads on how we unconsciously are seeking approval of others regardless of our success and social status are books by Robert Cialdini, Dan Pink, and Jonathan Haidt. Again, thanks for your perspective.

  4. Flavia, I teach this technique in sales prospecting emails. And I can tell you that it works. BUT your point is spot-on. HOW (exactly) and WHEN you signal to the buyer is critical. Signaling “you have the right to choose” can be very powerful — in a world where most sellers are busy pushing, pushing, pushing (for the meeting, the close, etc.). Coming right out and saying it may not be the best way to achieve this. But signaling at the right time does work… “frees” the buyer to make the next step on their own.

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