As sales and marketing pros, we usually don’t get too caught up in the details. We prefer to focus on the big picture and the end results. But what opportunities are missed when we don’t pay attention to certain nuances?
We know that sales can be a game of inches and the wrong words could cost us the deal. I was recently in a coffee shop restroom and I saw a sign that read “Baby hanging Station.” Someone had scratched off the letter “C” in the word “Changing” and suddenly it became “hanging.” It was only a single letter but it created a whole new meaning.
Think about some of the scenarios in sales where a single word could change the game. Here are a few examples:
When calling someone, it’s common to begin with a phrase such as, “I’m just calling…” or “I’m just following up…” The word “just” tends to minimize the importance of the call. It’s like saying, “I’m only calling…” Remove this single word and it will strengthen your calls.
There are other weak words we also tend to use. Examples include “maybe, possibly, kinda, and wondering.” When asking for an appointment, it’s common to say, “I’m wondering if we could meet.” The word “wondering” means “to convey doubt” so you might as well be saying, “I’m doubtful we could meet.”
By changing a single word in your question, you could receive a completely different response. Instead of asking, “What challenges do you see?” try asking, “What opportunities do you see?” You can also change a question by simply adding a single word to it. Instead of, “Are you looking for XYZ product or service?” add the word “why” and it becomes, “Why are you looking for XYZ product or service?”
Listening For Buying Signals
Pay close attention to the words your prospects use and you might be surprised by what they actually mean. If a prospect has told you he is the decision-maker but then says, “We are happy with our current vendor” you need to consider the meaning of the word “We” in his statement. Typically, a decision-maker will say “I am happy…” When your customer says “I think we’ll be ready to move forward” what does “I think” mean? It’s certainly different than if the customer said “We’ll be ready to move forward.”
See–sometimes a letter isn’t just a letter and a single word is important. Details, details.