Straight Talk: How Your Words Can Make (or Break) a Sale

Within a few seconds of meeting new people, you make dozens of assumptions, about everything from their financial health to their likability.  But when shoppers size up the trustworthiness of salespeople, that time is considerably shorter. According to 2015 findings from researchers at Princeton University, it takes most people only a tenth of a second (shorter than the blink of an eye) to gauge a person’s trustworthiness— arguably a salesperson’s most crucial characteristic. In those first few seconds, body language and facial expressions are important. But ultimately, “your mouth and the words you speak are your most important competitive weapon,” said sales linguistics expert Steve W. Martin in a 2013 speech that’s earned more than 3,000 views on YouTube. That’s especially true in the context of a fine jewelry sale, which often includes a period where cust

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