Shorten Your Power Plays as a Salesperson

When you talk to a customer, are you direct, but use too many prepositions? Because there’s a difference. Does your wording come off as lackadaisical or unsure? Because there’s a difference there, too. Too many words in your sentence can delay your customer’s reaction. Sometimes omitting the “fluff” can be the difference between getting to level 3 and sitting idly at level 1.


Let’s look at a few examples of what a tweak to your words can do for your negotiations.

Let me know when’s a good time to call  OR  When’s a good time to connect?

Which one do you use?  There’s a power flux going on here. If you’re trying to end a call with oomph, you shouldn’t use the first option. Yes, the “Let me know…” seems comforting at first, but it’s not direct enough. You’re putting all the power in the prospect’s hands, when you should leave some for yourself.

The second option is polite, but leaves the power with you. You’re not coming off as overly aggressive, but you’re not passive, either.

How would you like to proceed from here?  OR  What’s your next step?

If you’ve answered a need and are trying to lead the discussion into phase 2, the first question contains too many soft suggestions. The second option creates a suggestion, but it’s said in fewer words. Remember, less is more.

Not every prospect knows exactly what they want to get out of the first meeting. If they visit your website and take a trial, they might be looking for something but they don’t know what yet. If they respond to a cold call and stay on the line for more than 5 minutes, that doesn’t mean they know everything they need to to make a decision.

Your job as a salesperson is to uncover your customer's needs.

How will you go about making your decision?  OR  What can I do to make the decision easier?

Every salesperson knows that the decision maker is better than the window shopper. If you’re wasting time with a middleman customer, you’re stretching your resources thin.

Both of these questions imply the same thing: getting to the person who has decision-making authority. However, the first question gives credence to pushing that prospect toward a decision, or at least opens it up to go to the decision maker. The second question may do the same, but it’s assuming that person is the decision maker.

Final Thoughts

In sales and negotiation, there is such a fine line between getting a “Yes” and getting a “No.” Getting a prospect to react the way you want to your message requires you to address your final say either on the phone or on an email. Don’t be iffy with your communication - be direct and polite. Spend the extra few seconds to proof an email. Notice how many prepositions you use. Notice how many questions you ask.  Do those questions give you or the buyer power? Work on being both direct and influential with your words and get to the sale faster.

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