Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Negative Words That Will Kill Your Sales Pitch

Can Negative Words Loose You Sales?
Early in my sales career I attended a sales training class that talked about how words can have a negative effect on your customers and turn them off from making a decision about your service, or product.

Cheap Versus Inexpensive

“I’m looking for a cheap car.”

A customer may say that to you. As a salesperson you know the customer is talking about price and not quality.  

“We have plenty of cheap cars”, says the eager salesperson.

Are you guilty of telling a potential customer that you have just what they need at a cheap price? Always remember cheap is a reflection of quality.  As soon as you say the word “cheap”, even if you are referencing a 2013 BMW 740Li, you have just told the customer’s mind that this product is sub-par and inferior.

The dictionary definition of inexpensive may tell you that the word “cheap” is a synonym that can be used interchangeably.   This is not the case when selling.  The word “inexpensive” references price, not quality. When you tell a potential customer that your service or item is “inexpensive” you have let them know that they can expect a reasonable price for a quality product or service.   As you give the customer your list of features and benefits they can truly focus on the excellent quality you are offering them at such a great price.

Remember: Cheap is a reflection of quality.  Lower priced items are simply “inexpensive”.

Don't say “But”?

In a sentence the word “but” immediately takes what has started as a positive sentence and turns it negative.  If you don’t believe me, the next time a woman asks you how her new outfit looks tell her, “It looks good, but..."

The word “but” is a stop word with negative connotations. It tells the brain to stop going in the positive direction the conversation was headed in and prepare to change thoughts in a negative way.  We do not want our customer’s mind to stop in the middle of our great sales pitch and be inadvertently told to now look at our conversation in a negative way.

Many times we use the word “but” as a “word whisker” more than a necessary conjunction. It replaces, “um” or “you know”.  Try this during your next sales pitch or presentation.  Do not use the word “but”.  

For example, turn the sentence, “We can customize the website to fit your needs, but we also want it to be easy for the end user to navigate” to “We can customize the website to fit your needs, AND we also want it to be easy for the end user to navigate”. 

An even better exercise is to go through the day in ordinary conversation without using the word “but”.  I do this constantly in order to remind myself not to use the word “but” when talking to potential clients.

Small, simple words can make or break your sales pitch.  If you believe in the product or service you are selling you should want to be positive about it at all times.

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