Lets take another look at the language of persuasion.
After all, Rudyard Kipling said,
Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
(This is article #3 from YourSalesSuccess eZine.)
Last issue we looked at language and focused specifically on “ because “ and the avoidance of “ yes…but “.
Since language of persuasion is so critical in sales success I’d like to spend some more time discussing it.
A typical comment that a customer is likely to offer is,
"Your product is too expensive."
For years my standard response to that question was,
"Compared to what ?"
Well, that’s not a bad question.
My intention at the time was to make sure the customer was comparing apples to apples.
I could follow that up with some other questions to determine what was important to the customer,
i.e. their criteria for buying, or not.
(a customer’s criteria is what is most important to them and if you can frame your communication about the benefits of your product around their criteria your words will have greater impact.)
The problem with “Compared to what?” is that it focuses the mind of the buyer on the competition.
Logic would suggest that you need your product in the mind of your potential client rather than your competitor’s product and that's where the language of persuasion comes in.
Better responses to “Your product is too expensive“ might be :
"How do you know our product is too expensive?"
This will give you the perceived shortcomings of your offer in relation to the buyer’s criteria.
"How would you know if our product is not too expensive?"
The answer to this question will tell you how you need to improve your product or offer to get the sale.
This is a much better use of the language of persuasion.
"How would you know if our product is worth every penny we are asking for it?"
This question would get you similar information to the question above and is stated a little more positively.
What’s even more important about the last two questions is that, in order to answer them, the client has to make representations in their head about using your product and that's what the language of persuasion is all about.
In that respect these questions operate similarly to ".. just suppose".
"just suppose you use our product what would you …"
Why is it important to keep your product in the mind of your client ?
Well, some people believe that many buying decisions are not made consciously or logically.
"People sometimes consciously plan and then act, but more often behaviour is influenced by unconscious processes; that is, people act and then, if called upon, make excuses."
( from “ Unconscious influences revealed”, Jacoby, Lindsay and Toth, in American Psychologist, June 1992, Volume 47, #6, 802-809).
If you can get your prospect to mentally use your product or service enough times they will buy it.
Some years ago I read an article that said most successful salespeople in the USA get an order after the 5th “No!” .
Most people read that and get the message that the successful salespeople are most persistent. And it does give that message.
If we look at it from the buyer’s perspective what it also tells us is that most buyers in the USA need to imagine using your product or service 5 times before they actually act and make the purchase.
This is a well know psychological principle know as "the convincer mode" which is used extensively in television advertising
"don’t buy yet because" or
"but wait there’s more".
I will discuss this in another article.
Think about the questions you ask your prospect.
Brainstorm and create better questions.
Practice them before a meeting.
Make sure that the questions you ask lead the buyer to make mental representations of using your product or service.
Do it often enough and well enough and you will form questions using the language of persuasion and that will lead to more sales.