Great salespeople always choose the right word. The words we use when speaking with prospects and customers determine the outcome of the sales pursuit. It’s not only the meaning of the words we use but the emotional effect on the buyer. Think about and carefully choose the words you use to improve sales.
Proposal vs. Quote
Are you after a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship? Sounds a lot like marriage. Do we “quote” to the one we love or “propose?” A quote is just a document with a list of items and prices. A proposal includes all the information a great salesperson has learned about the buyer and their situation. It is a summary of the conversations between the salesperson and buyer. A proposal demonstrates the salesperson’s interest in the buyer. A “quote” says: “here are my prices.”
Price vs. Cost
Cost has a negative connotation. When we think of cost we equate that with loss. A cost reduces our assests. Price is more appealing. Sure it’s subtle. Have you ever seen a “cost tag” in a furniture store? A work of art is priceless. Price is positive. It’s the value we convince a buyer to invest to achieve their goal.
Benefit vs. Feature
People buy benefits. It’s a very tired example. But here goes: think about drill bits. Carpenters and machinists really want holes. The value of the drill bit is the ability to make holes in the part. If your drill bit lasts longer than the competition, the customer gets more holes per bit. That’s the benefit they are willing to pay for. Great salespeople choose the right word when they understand the benefit the buyer wants.
Want vs. Need
We buy what we want not what we need. This is mostly true. I’m not so sure I want the medication the doctor ordered but I need it to cure the ailment. Great salespeople know how to understand the buyer’s motivation to make a purchase. The DJ discussing plans with a couple for a wedding celebration, works hard to understand what they want the event to be like. They choose the right words to touch the couple’s emotion and put them in the event. The DJ’s words make them want to hire him. Or simply put: I need transportation to get me to work. I want my own car rather than taking the bus.
Share vs. Tell
From the earliest age, our mothers taught us to share. “Would you share your budget with me?” is better than “Tell me your budget.” When asking someone to share with you a piece of information vital to closing the sale, there is an emotional trigger. It’s soft. It’s a plea or request, not a demand. By giving the buyer the option to share, they feel as though they are in control.
Can You Or Will You Choose The Right Word?
Can denotes the person has the power to do. Will is optional. “Can you make a decision today?” asks whether they have the ability to decide. While “Will you purchase six cases of this fine wine?” begs for excuses like “I would, but my wine cellar is full, sorry.”
What you can do right now to choose the right word
- Listen to the words you use on the next sales call
- Write down the reaction of the buyer to the words
- Practice using the words giving you the most success
To learn more sales secrets see Chapter Seven, Understanding Buyer Behavior, in Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling. For even more sales encouragement, join our FREE Sales Club! “See” you next week.