Sometimes to change your sales results you need to change your language…

31 January 2013 by Charles Howden

Top sellers and linguistic studies have suggested that the use of the following words and language structures reduce the chances of reaching agreement in a sales context.

How many do you commonly use?

“No Problem!” However it sounds to you, what the person you are talking to hears is no and problem. Is that really what you want them to hear? At a subconscious level, the human brain does not convert a double negative into a positive, it just hears two negatives. And the chances are, if this is in your language set, you say it several times a minute. How many no’s how many problems do you want to leave your prospect with? Instead, try a simple “yes!” helps to build a yes-­‐set in the mind of your prospect, maybe “of course”, even “I’d be delighted”.

And while we’re on the subject of language…

“Obviously” suggests “Don’t you know that?” “Are you stupid?”

“Basically” suggests you don’t know your product well enough to allow you to talk about it anything other than basic terms.

“Hopefully” suggests it isn’t going to work

“Why?” Will get you justifications, not reasons. You can’t do anything with a justification except argue with it. You can do plenty with reasons, if you can elicit them. Instead, try “any particular reason?”

“To be honest…” suggests you haven’t been honest until now.

“But” is an unspoken disagreement negating the line that preceded it.

“Always”, “Everyone”, “Every”, Universal quantifiers like these will trigger your prospect to start considering the possible exceptions to the rule, and when they have found them, which they will, your pitch will be disproven.

Often these words are habitual and are used as linking words/phrases. So now you have dropped “obviously” and “basically”, not to mention, “to be honest”, what can words/phrases can you use instead? Actually you don’t need them. Using them is a sign of laziness built on habit. Just say what you were going to say without them. If you want some “smoothers” try agreement words and phrases like “you’re right!”, “yes”, “that’s great”.

Start looking for the words and phrases you habitually use. The chances are, if you using any of them more than three times in a sales conversation your prospect will spot the repeat on your third go. On your fourth, they will be irritated and question your competence.

Sometimes to change your sales results you need to change your language…

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