If you use the telephone to sell and/or prospect there are two words that you must use and apply continuously because they will ultimately increase your sales and leads.
The two words are actually contained in the sentence above. Can you identify them? Because if you can, you’ve caught the spirit of this article and telephone selling will be that much easier.
The 2 Words
Okay… here they are… the two words: ‘you’ and ‘because’. Let’s take a little closer look at them and figure out why they are important and how they can help you be more successful.
Word #1: You
You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? You know how important the word ‘you’ is to a prospect. But let’s look at it in depth.
When you use ‘you’ the conversation shifts radically by placing the focus on the prospect and their situation and their wants and needs … rather than making the call about you, your company, your product and your wants and needs. While this may seem self-evident it is often ignored in our rush to present our offer or product.
When your prospect/client senses (either consciously or subconsciously) that the call is about their specific situation, they tend to open up. They give you better information. They resist less and interact more. Their objections tend to be legitimate rather than false. The prospect or client senses you’re in THEIR corner.
How do you make the call about them?
First off, you need to think and plan your call prior to making it. You need to proactively position what you want to say and how you say it. It’s not terrible hard to do. It simply requires conscious effort. For instance, when questioning you might ask:
• “Kerri, can you tell me about your situation regarding…”
• “Mr. Corso, could you explain to me what happens when…”
• “When those shipments arrived late, how did that impact you…?”
• “Jesse, what have you done to solve these issues in the past…”
• “Ms. Londo, what do you feel is the most pressing issue regarding…”
Virtually any of these questions could have been asked without the word ‘you’. Adding it gives a subtle emphasis.
When presenting your product or service solution, you can frame your presentation by doing the following:
• “Roy, you mentioned that one of the items concerning you the most was ...”
• “Angie, you said earlier that one of your most frustrating concerns with the software is…”
• “Aaron, one feature you might find beneficial is …”
• “Ms. Reid, you explained that you wanted more productivity from your employees and that you wanted a cost effective solution, correct?
These phrases indicate to your prospect or client that you listened and understood. You’ve quickly and effectively personalized the situation so your solution becomes more meaningful and pertinent to your client. At some level, this is conveyed to your client and makes them more receptive.
Word #2: Because
The second most compelling word is ‘because.” ‘Because’ is one of the most powerful words in selling because it almost magically creates legitimacy in what you claim. (Note: I used ‘because’ to support my claim).
This has been extremely well documented by Robert Cialdini (among others) in his book Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion. His book details a social experiment testing the concept of using the word ‘because’ in getting people to take action. (Just Google Cialdini and you’ll find the details).
When you make a claim about your product or service, prospects and clients almost instinctively want to know why or how. Their minds are looking for some sort of rationale to support whatever it is you’re saying. Proof. Evidence. If you’ve been in sales for any length of time, you know that citing a feature or a fact without some explanation (and benefit) is typically a waste of time.
Interestingly, Cialdini points out that even if the explanation that follows your ‘because’ is not particularly logical, it still has impact. Why? Because we’ve been conditioned to accept that whatever follows a ‘because’ tends to have rational thought. I know. It doesn’t seem logical but it happens. Read Cialdini and you’ll learn more.
Like the word ‘you’, you need to consciously think about applying the word ‘because’. You do this because it increases client acceptance and because it leads to better sales or increased leads. (Gee, I am really illustrating the point, eh?) For instance,
• “Jim, because the coaching is behavioral based it get your reps to apply to the changes in selling and achieve the results you want…”
• “The software tracks your e-mail without your prospect knowing it. This is important to users like you because…”
• “The reason why we’ve positioned the program in this manner is because…”
• “Because the majority of your customers found the usage faster and easier, we made the following changes…”
Using ‘you’ and ‘because’ doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a sale or a lead right off the bat. You use them because they’re the little extras in selling that give you an edge. It is something that your competitor might not be doing. You use them because they’re good ideas that are proven to work. You use them because they’ll help you get into sales shape and generate more sales and leads.
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