- If you’re a long time student of my training, that title is a “gotcha.” You’re probably reading this because of one of the words I used. If it caught your attention, read the rest of this post as a “back to basics review.”
- If you’re new to my training, I’m thrilled that you’ll be learning this critical aspect of selling.
As you begin reading this post, please look at the title once again. Closing Deals. What you are seeing there is a word you should never use in any business or negotiation situation. It’s the word deal. Take this advice to heart and never, ever use that word when talking with the people you hope to do business with.
What does the word deal bring to mind? For most people, it brings to mind something that we’ve always wanted, but never really gotten—a good deal. Rather than risk turning off a potential client with a word that could raise their defense barriers, I strongly suggest you use the word opportunity. Opportunity is a much more positive word. It brings to mind thoughts of getting ahead, getting a break, or taking a chance on something with a positive potential outcome.
Another alternative for the word deal is the word transaction. In B-B situations, you are transacting business. So call it what it is – a transaction. Using the term deal just might start your buyer down the road to second-guessing the decision. It might also turn the sale into a negotiation that might have been avoided if you hadn’t raised a red flag with your words.
Few business professionals put much thought into the words they use when speaking with clients. They don’t seem to understand that words have the power to make or break a sale at any stage. You could have clients excited about your product or service and ready to go ahead and say one wrong word. The sale comes to a screeching halt and you aren’t even sure why. The clients stall. They back-pedal. They want to think it over. What happened?
You said something that created negative emotions. You created doubt either in the benefits they will receive from the product or about the value they’re getting for their investment. They got scared and created a quick defense barrier to keep the sale from going any further.
You see, words create pictures in our minds. Those pictures then cause us to have certain emotions—either negative or positive.
The goal of anyone in sales or in a position where they need to persuade others is to create only positive emotions with positive mental pictures. Negative mental pictures create fear or cause people to raise defense barriers against whatever you’re proposing. They can cause people to lose interest in you, your brand or the product itself.
The key to closing every opportunity or transaction is to eliminate fear in the minds of your potential clients. It works like this: Words create pictures that create emotions. And, people make buying decisions emotionally. Then, they defend their decisions with logic. So, it’s critical to closing that you understand how to eliminate negative emotions and create positive ones.
I have a list of 17 words that I recommend you eliminate from your vocabulary. Here are just a few:
1. Cost or Price. What comes to mind when you hear those words? For most people, they envision their money leaving their wallets. Or, their debt increasing. Neither of those are positive images, are they? Rather than using the words cost or price, use the phrases total amount or total investment. Do you feel the difference? The term amount isn’t as strong a negative as cost. And, the term investment has a positive connotation. When you make a wise investment, you get something of value for it, don’t you?
- Don’t say: This product costs $500.
- Say: The total amount for this product is only $500.
2. Contract. What happens when we get involved with a contract? First of all, it’s a legal document. Mom and Dad have always told us never to sign one and to read the fine print. To get out of one often involves a lawyer. So, how are you feeling about this word now? Eliminate it from your vocabulary if you want to increase your sales volume. Instead, use the terms agreement, paperwork, or form. We all know they mean the same thing as contract. They just don’t create the negative mental image of one.
- Don’t say: Let’s fill out all the details on our contract so you can get started.
- Say: Let’s put everything in writing on the agreement to see if getting started even makes sense.
3. Sign. This word needs to go the way of the word contract. That’s because they create hesitation in the mind of the buyer. Use the words approve, authorize, endorse or okay. Say something like this when it’s time to close: John, if you’ll just approve the paperwork right here, we’ll welcome you to our family of satisfied clients.
- Don’t say: John, if you’ll just sign right here, we’ll get your delivery date set up.
- Say: John, with your approval right here, we’ll arrange for delivery at your convenience.
4. Cheaper. Do you really want to have your clients think your product or service is cheaper? Look it up in a thesaurus. The other similar words aren’t conducive to good thoughts on the part of your buyer. Replace cheaper with more economical.
- Don’t say: Our product is cheaper than the competition.
- Say: Our product is more economical than that of the competition.
Please also keep in mind that every closed sale equates to the opening of a new relationship. Every relationship you develop in a positive manner with the people you serve, will bring you closer to achieving the goals you have set for yourself personally and with your loved ones. Every satisfied client has the potential of introducing you to many more people you can serve with your product or service. The more professionally you handle their needs, the more likely you will receive a steady stream of leads and referrals. Referred leads are the best kind because those folks will already have a positive impression about you and your product from their friends or relatives, which makes closing transactions easier and easier every time!
Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.