Communication is key no matter what you’re doing, but when it comes to landing meetings and finalizing a sale, knowing the right words and phrases to use can make a huge difference.
When it comes to a sales pitch or a follow-up, you should never be careless about the wording you use, as even one miscalculated word choice can change your prospective client’s perception of your services. Everything you put out must be examined for not only the message you wish to get across, but the many ways your audience—or in this case, your potential client—might interpret your words.
In this article, I’m going to be focusing on the importance of understanding the wording you use when selling, with tips and techniques you can use to make sure you’re closing the sale.
The Psychology of the Sale
More so than videos or pictures, words are particularly grounded in emotion. This is because words are used to build relationships, and this is the fundamental reason they are so important when it comes to sales. And with that understanding, it becomes much easier to apply aspects of psychology and persuasion to your sales technique.
One tactic that has been used with varying degrees of success is called the assumptive close. With this, the salesperson uses words and phrases that already make the sale sound like a done deal. For instance, this could mean finishing your pitch or follow-up with a leading question like ‘Which bundle are you going with?’ While this approach may work sometimes, it comes across as fairly aggressive, and will probably only work on clients who were already likely to purchase your services.
Two other techniques you can use that are less pushy and will make the client feel more comfortable, and will therefore only help to strengthen your relationship with them—are the reverse close, and the direct-statement close.
The reverse close essentially turns the answer we want on its head, so we work to ask a question with the hope that the answer is ‘no,’ but what that ‘no’ really means is ‘yes.’ For example, this could mean asking the client ‘Is there any reason why, if we got you these results at this price, you wouldn’t do business with our company?’ When the client answers no to this question, they’re essentially agreeing all ready to do business with you. Additionally, if they answer yes, then you have specific objections that you can work through with the client to make them happier with the product or service being offered.
The direct-statement close is a technique that aims to instill confidence in the purchase by the client by exhibiting that same confidence yourself. With this approach, you’re displaying your certainty that the sale should and will happen simply by stating that it will be so. For example, this would mean closing with a statement like ‘I think we’re ready to get started with this,’ or even more directly, ‘Let’s move forward on this.’ If you’ve already received enough signals from the client that they’re interested, then this approach will certainly close the sale and get the ball rolling.
These techniques are effective because we’re putting ourselves in the minds of the clients, imagining their possible responses and reactions, and working out a way to decrease the likelihood of receiving a ‘no.’
Two great resources that will help you delve even further into the psychology of persuasion to help you increase your sales performance and improve a number of aspects in your life, are the books How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs.
Focus on Emotion and Connection
When your sales approach starts to focus more on the customer and the relationship you’re building with them, you will see a marked difference in the outcome. There are many ways we can use words to help build a stronger connection with our prospective clients, and that includes choosing phrases that have a more emotional and personal connotation.
For example, explaining benefits the customer can expect instead of simply listing the specifications of your service, or focusing on value instead of price to show how the client will get more instead of how they can pay less. Additionally, appealing to the client by focusing on them and using direct wording like ‘you’ as opposed to focusing on yourself and ‘I’ like saying ‘Your savings’ as opposed to ‘Our discount.’
10 Words to Use
Now that I’ve given you the foundation of why words are so important, what techniques lie behind the word choice, and what approach you should take to better connect with your prospective clients, I want to get even more specific. Taking all of that into account, here are 10 words that you should use, whether in person in a sales pitch or in any email automation or other marketing materials that can help you close the sale:
- We (or Our, Together, Us)
The words on this list are not only some of the most persuasive words, but they also help to trigger predictable behavior. Essentially, that is what choosing your words wisely needs to boil down to: what words can I say to get the results I want? Taking a moment to assess the possible outcomes and interpretations of your words can do a lot to help you optimize your messaging and get you the sale.
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