Words matter. How you present yourself, your business, and your pitch will have a lot to do with whether or not investors and clients decide to take a chance on you. You know this, of course, but did you know that the language you use and how you use it can greatly help you influence people and gain more success for your business?


According to several studies, five words in the English language have more power to persuade than any others. These are:

• Free
• You
• Instantly
• Because
• New

Why are these words so persuasive? Consider the difference between saying something like, “Product X solves this problem for the customer,” versus, “Our new free Product X instantly solves this problem for you because it does A, B, and C.” I’ve put those persuasive words in italics for emphasis here just to show you the difference they make, but they can naturally enhance almost any sentence to make it more compelling and to increase its urgency.


Whether you’re asking an investor to fund your startup or you’re pitching a sale to a prospective client, you can increase your likelihood of success by making them feel like they’re part of a community. Use words and phrases like “Become a member,” “Join,” and/or “Come along,” and you’ll influence people to feel like they’re a part of something, not just customers buying goods or investors taking a risk on a new venture. Make them feel like they’re a part of something larger than a single business venture or transaction, and they’ll want to join you and help you along the way to success.


Especially if you’re selling products or services online, your customers want to know that they’re safe and secure with your business. They want to trust you, and you can help them with that if, in addition to taking precautions to protect their privacy, ensure their physical safety, etc., you use words and phrases that increase a sense of safety, security, and trust. Some of these include:

• Authentic
• Cancel anytime
• Guaranteed
• Lifetime
• Money-back
• Anonymous
• Official
• Protected
• Recession-proof
• Best-selling
• Ironclad
• No obligation
• Secure
• Unconditional
• Tested

Ensuring your customers that their participation in a survey will be anonymous will help them feel more comfortable giving honest feedback. Making a “try before you buy” offer that’s “guaranteed to have no obligation and money-back if you’re not satisfied” is a good way to show customers that they’re in good hands with your brand.


One of the most beautiful things about the English language is that you can choose from numerous different synonyms for different words and messages. That means that you can find kinder, gentler, and more positive words to convey the same message. Instead of saying, “I’m your boss, so I’ll be supervising this project,” for example, you can say something like, “If you have any questions, I’ll be overseeing this project. Come to me if you run into any challenges.” See how much more positive and inviting the second sentence was?

Use these tips as you speak with investors and clients, write proposals, give speeches, and talk with partners. The more you take advantage of persuasive, positive language that makes people feel safe and as though they’re a part of a community, the more success you’ll have along the way. Choose your words wisely and become a better influencer almost instantly.

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