As a seasoned sales pro, you’re not likely to put your foot in your mouth when you call on customers. But do you intentionally choose phrases that could put dollars in your pocket? Consider these five phrases that pay to play:
“Keeping in mind your goal to X, …”
Customers don’t want to hear about what you have to offer them; they want to hear that you understand their objectives, goals, issues, challenges, strategies, problems, and projects. Only then will they be convinced that what you have to offer might align with what they need or where they plan to go. Always keep their goals as the context for what you can provide.
Whether talking about product choices, service plans, delivery options, or payment schedules, customers like to be the driver’s seat. Who doesn’t like to know they have choices? The one-size-fits-all philosophy and organization have become very dated in the current decade. Salespeople who communicate (whether in words or attitude) “this is the way we do things” without a willingness to hear what the customer actually wants often takes themselves out of the running. Obviously, you may not be flexible on every point. But starting out with that mindset and communicating that flexibility often goes a long way in letting your customer know that you plan to do business with them—whatever it takes.
“Glad you asked.”
This response—particularly after your customer has asked a tough question or expressed a concern about your service or product—will often be remembered longer than your explanation or answer to the actual question. Not only does it show a willingness to respond to an issue—it expresses an openness and eagerness to explain. The phrase sounds like, “And here comes the best part that I almost forgot to tell you. You’re really going to like this explanation.” Again, the exuberance of the words themselves set the mood for the explanation or answer to follow.
“The reason that’s important to you is …”
Because you’re a seasoned salesperson, you’re already in the habit of turning features into benefits. But often the customer doesn’t “catch and cull” those benefits when technical explanations start swirling. Instead, they zone out. And later when their boss or peers who have input into the buying decision ask for more information, your customer can’t interpret and separate features from benefits. With these straightforward statements, you are, in effect, helping customers to identify the key reasons to make the buying decision. Example: “Todd, the reason this drill-down nozzle will be important in your operation is to reduce the slippage problem you told me you were having.”
“As you mentioned earlier …”
Using words and phrases that you’ve picked up from interactions with your customers and from visits to their websites (industry terms, organizational lingo) demonstrates that you understand and fit in with their culture and see things from their perspective. People like to do business with those they feel are like them and have things in common. “As you mentioned earlier” underscores that you listen well and are taking their words to heart.
These five phrases can be quicker than your smart phone to win a customer’s attention and trust.
Can you think of others to jot in the Comments section below?