Human interactions are so complex and multi-faceted that it can be difficult to prescribe specific formulas for getting to an intended outcome. This is doubly-true for sales, where every interaction is intended to get the prospect one step closer to agreeing to a purchase. Much ink has been spilled in an effort to figure out how best to structure these contacts, with sales scripts and other prescriptive recommendations.
While sticking to a script rarely works in fluid conversation, there are some simple ways you can steer your sales conversations in the right direction, one of which is by getting into the habit of using persuasive words in your discussions with prospects. Using these words won’t guarantee you’ll get a deal closed, but they will increase your chances.
Some sales experts say that your focus shouldn’t be to sell something, it should be to help a prospect buy. This is why asking how you can help and making sure to listen carefully to the prospect’s answer is the first step in the sales process. The more people you’re able to help, the more money you’ll make.
People are hard-wired to get excited about novelty, so if you explain that they’ll be the first to have access to a new product or feature, or even be the first in their industry to start using what you’re selling, it’s likely to trigger some positive associations. Of course, be careful not to mislead with anything you’re promising.
The word “because” conveys a reason, or at least the implication of a reason for a particular decision. “This product would be perfect for you because etc.” Not only does the word justify a reason for a certain decision, it also creates a cause-and-effect relationship between what you’re offering and the benefit the prospect is likely to receive. It’s a powerful word that shouldn’t be ignored.
The allure of getting something for “free” has long been proven one of the most effective tactics in business. Just look at any slew of advertisements and you’re likely to see the word, or some variation thereof (add-ons, 2-for-1 deals, etc.) almost everywhere. Salespeople should make an effort to include the word in their vocabulary whenever possible. Not doing so does a disservice to yourself (and to your commission check).
5. I don’t know
While we always want to be as knowledgable as possible, you should also feel comfortable telling a prospect that you don’t have an immediate answer to their question. Of course, “I don’t know” should always be followed up with: “But I’ll find out.” Just don’t try to muddle your way through a question you don’t know the answer to, as it is very likely to backfire.
Going back to the earlier point of making it easier for prospects to buy, using the word “simple” can remove the pressure most buyers are under when they think of how much effort it will take to get to their intended outcome. Of course, you’ll want to actually make the process simple as well, not just say it, but if you keep this word in mind, you’ll remove one more hurdle that stands between you and a deal.
This might not be a word that comes to mind for most salespeople, but if you start helping your prospect imagine what life would be like if they moved forward with your product/solution, you’re likely to close more deals. Too many salespeople forget to help their prospects get into an optimistic mindset of the “after,” so if you do, you’ll set yourself apart.
As most salespeople know, you have to create urgency when possible and always ask for the prospect’s business. Using the word “now” can put things in context, and instead of making a purchasing decision feel like something nebulous in the far-off-future, it can make what you’re asking for feel more timely. No matter how aggressive you are, if you don’t bring your conversations into the here and now, you’ll never get your prospect on the same page quickly enough.