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Speaking Skills

10 Common Mistakes That Native English Speakers Make From Langfocus

8 min
Average Score

Paul Jorgensen

Founder and Creator of Langfocus

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Is your way of speaking influencing your sales outcomes? Research shows that effective communication, including correct language use, plays a significant role in successful sales interactions. This session explores the top 10 common mistakes that native English speakers make and how sales reps, account executives, and BDRs can refine their language skills for better sales results.

1. Subject-Verb Agreement: The Basics

A common error is unclear subject number agreement. For example, the correct form is "Every one of those people needs to buy a ticket," not "need." Sales professionals must be vigilant in ensuring their speech and written communication are grammatically sound, as this reflects on their professionalism and attention to detail.

2. Homophones: More Than Just Sound

Homophones can be tricky in written communication. Mixing up 'affect' and 'effect', or 'there', 'their', and 'they're' can undermine the credibility of written sales proposals and emails. Paying close attention to these common confusions is crucial for maintaining a professional image.

3. Adjectives vs. Adverbs: Speaking Correctly

Misusing adjectives and adverbs, like saying "He sang really good" instead of "He sang really well," can reflect poorly in sales conversations. Understanding the difference enhances clarity and precision in language, which is vital in sales discussions.

4. Double Negatives: A Clear Message

Using double negatives, such as "I don't have no money," can confuse the message. In sales, clarity is key, and avoiding such grammatical errors ensures the message is understood as intended.

5. Subjunctive Mood: Expressing Possibilities

The subjunctive mood, used for non-factual scenarios, is often misused. For example, "It's important that he go to the hospital" is correct, not "goes." In sales, using the subjunctive correctly can add a sophisticated touch when discussing potential scenarios with clients.

6. Is vs. Are: Matching Subjects with Verbs

Confusion between 'is' and 'are' can occur, especially with phrases like "here's three cookies." Correctly saying "here are three cookies" shows attention to grammatical detail, important in all professional communications.

7. Lie vs. Lay: The Right Choice

The confusion between 'lie' and 'lay' is a common mistake. Understanding the difference and using these verbs correctly can set apart a sales rep's communication skills, making them appear more knowledgeable and articulate.

8. Fewer vs. Less: Countability Matters

Using 'fewer' for countable nouns and 'less' for uncountable ones is a rule often overlooked. For instance, "I eat fewer cookies" is correct, not "less cookies." Accurate use of these terms in sales conversations or presentations can demonstrate a higher level of language proficiency.

9. Past Tense vs. Past Participle: Speaking Accurately

Confusing past tense and past participle forms of verbs, like 'went' and 'gone' in "I should have gone to the party," is a common error. In sales, using the correct verb forms is essential for clear and professional communication.

10. Literally: Avoiding Exaggeration

The misuse of 'literally' for emphasis rather than its actual meaning can lead to misinterpretation. In sales, it's important to use such terms accurately to maintain trust and credibility.

In conclusion, mastering language and avoiding common mistakes can significantly enhance a sales rep's effectiveness. Clear, accurate communication not only conveys professionalism but also ensures the message is delivered as intended. For sales professionals looking to refine their language skills, this session offers valuable insights into common English errors and how to avoid them, ultimately leading to improved sales results.

Watch this session to learn more about these topics and enhance your communication skills for better sales outcomes.

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