Should you or Could you?

Lisa Thal

Could your sales performance use a change?

Could your business be better?

One word that can change your sales outcomes Should or Could.

Many other factors, including product quality, market demand, and of course, the skill of the sales team, determine sales performance. However, one factor you could be overlooking is the power of language.

Studies have shown that when people imagine themselves in a future situation, they focus on the potential obstacles rather than the possibilities. As a result, they often underestimate what they can achieve. Specifically, the word “could” can profoundly impact your sales performance.

When it comes to sales, how you phrase something can mean the difference between success and failure. One word, “could,” can make all the difference when closing a sale. Let’s look at why this small change can significantly impact your sales performance.

The Power of “Could”
Changing the wording from “What if I fail?” to “What could I achieve?” can make a big difference. When people focus on what they can achieve, they are much more likely to take action and achieve their goals.

When talking to prospects, using “could” instead of “should” allows you to open up more possibilities and effectively engage with them. For example, instead of saying, “you should buy our product,” say, “you could benefit from our product.” This subtle change creates an opportunity for collaboration between you and your prospect. It also shows that you are listening to and understanding their needs, which builds trust and increases your chances of making a sale.

Using the Word “Could” Strategically
In addition to showing that you understand your prospect’s needs, using “could” strategically can create a sense of urgency or scarcity. For instance, if there is limited availability for a product or service, saying that they “could miss out on this amazing offer if they don’t act now” might be enough to tip them over the edge and make them decide to purchase right away.

Another way to strategically use this word is, to be honest about what they could gain from buying your product or service. Instead of simply telling them what it will do for them, let them know how it could help solve their problem or improve their life. Help drive home the value proposition and show them why buying from you is worth it.

Here are three tips you Could use to improve your performance.

Rewrite your goals: A key factor to success in improving sales performance is how certain you feel, and one of the best tools for that is rewriting your goals from “should” statements to “could” statements. For example, instead of saying, “I should increase my sales by 10% this quarter,” try writing, “I could increase my sales by 10% this quarter.”

Imagine a successful outcome: Visualize what it would be like if you achieved the goal you have set for yourself and how different it would look and feel if you used “could” instead of “should.” It will give you more confidence while developing and working towards your goals.

Be patient and persistent: It may take time to change your mindset from “should” to “could,” but be patient with yourself and persist in unlocking these new tools powerfully. You can see more significant results with improved sales performance with consistent effort.

There is power in words when selling products or services. Simply changing one word —from should to could —can make all the difference in closing a sale or missing out on an opportunity entirely. Use “could” strategically when engaging with prospects; it shows that you understand their needs and helps build trust with potential customers, so they feel comfortable enough to purchase from you. Try incorporating this small but powerful change into your sales process today!

Make sure you are focusing on the possibilities rather than the obstacles. And always remember that the word “could” can make all the difference in your success.

If you could do me a favor, please share this article with someone you think can benefit.

Learn more at and start getting creative with your next sales meeting!

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