Episode 39: Sales Methods pt 3 – The Power of Words


What’s the single word that’s going to make all your sales literature, presentations and your conversations with movers and shakers really work for you and get you noticed? I want to discuss the power of a single word.

I have been doing a series designed to give non-sales people an idea of sales methodologies. Not everybody wants to be a salesperson, but I believe a knowledge of sales can benefit everyone and make them more successful in their career and business situations.

Previously I looked at positivity and expectations, and today I want to address the single word that can make a huge difference to the way people react to your messages: that word is, ‘you’.

The best salespeople are naturals at using this word, but everyone can train themselves to use it in a way that will help you achieve your goals.

Good sales people understand that how you deliver a message has an enormous impact on the response that they get. They know that language influences emotions, perceptions and, most importantly, affects the actions that their clients take. They know that their customers want to feel like they’re talking to them individually, that their message is especially for them, the client, and no word does this better than the word ‘you’.

Let’s look at a non-sales related example that could happen in everyday life. Imagine you’re in a bar with a friend from work enjoying a quick drink. She launches into the conversation that goes like this: “I had my salary review today. We met in the conference room overlooking the river. I didn’t like the salary that she was offering me, so I said to her that I would like her to think again because it just wasn’t enough, and that we should meet again in a couple of weeks to talk it over.”

How would you feel about that conversation? Indeed, do you feel that it’s a conversation or a rant? Are you being spoken to or spoken with?

But what if your colleague were to say: “You know I had my salary review today in the conference room overlooking the river? I didn’t like the salary she was offering me, so, you know what I did? I said to her that I would like her to think again because it just wasn’t enough and that we should have a meeting in a couple of weeks after she’s thought it over. What do you think?”

This second message is more engaging. Your friend has involved you from the very beginning. This is now a conversation, it’s more personal, and as a result you are more likely to engage.

Another example, this time in a job interview situation: you get to the part of the interview with the inevitable questions about strengths and weaknesses. You’ve done your preparation, and you listened as the interviewer told you a little bit about the position on offer. This means that your next step should be to tailor your strengths and weaknesses accordingly. For example, “You said at the beginning that you were looking for someone who could…”

Or if the interviewer has not discussed the position itself, it might be time to turn the tables by asking a question, such as “Can I ask what sort of issues that you are facing in the department at the moment?” In both instances you have engaged with the interviewer. Making the interview a conversation will always make it go better for you.

This method works well with presentations and with written content too. In both you should try and present what you say from the reader or listener’s point of view. By using the word ‘you’, your audience will feel that they are being individually spoken to, and that will pay dividends in the long-run.

Let me know if you have any questions!



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