Remember when your preschool teacher told the kids who were starting to get physical to, “Use your words, please!” Use your words is just the right instruction to remember when you sell. Dr. Jonah Berger has researched words and the ones which are most effective to influence and persuade. His recent book Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way has some interesting insights that sales professionals should consider.
Here are the words to use that will help you to sell.
Use your words to sell and recommend more persuasively.
Salespeople are recommending their products, services or ideas all the time. Think about the words you use to make recommendations to your prospects and customers. Some words are more powerful to get your customer to actually do what you suggest.
Dr. Berger found that using the word “recommend” is more effective than simply saying you like something. He found that saying you recommend something makes people 32% more likely to take your suggestion.
I’ve always been aware of the power of the word “because” when I make a recommendation. Dr. Robert Cialdini reported the research on the impact on persuasion of using the word “because” in his book Influence. A 1978 experiment increased compliance from 60% to 94% when asking for something and giving a compelling reason with the word “because.” You might think the reason compelled the person. It didn’t. The compliance was 93% when the researchers asked for compliance and used “because” without any real reason and no new information.
Be sure you are recommending what you want someone to do and certainly add the reason using the word “because” when you sell.
Use your words to sell by helping someone envision becoming what you want.
You might think that it’s more effective to get compliance by asking someone to do something. What you do is use verbs or action instead of saying what the person becomes. Berger found that verbs or action were less effective than nouns. The National Academy of Sciences journal PNAS found that instead of asking people to vote (verb), they could increase turnout by 15% by asking people to be voters (noun.)
You should be thinking of using the word buyer in your sales presentations instead of the word buy.
Use your words to sell and show that you listen.
I’ve always said that listening is one of the most important selling skills. Berger found that good listening skills showing people they were heard increased customer satisfaction and encouraged later purchases.
What did those customer service agents do? They didn’t use anodyne language like “I’m happy to help.” Instead, the effective customer service agents told the customer what they would do to ensure the customer’s satisfaction. They were specific. An example would be the agent telling the customer, “I’ll be sure that your outfit is delivered tomorrow by 7pm.” The agent demonstrated he understood the urgency of getting the order by a specific time.
Use confident words.
Using certainty is the language of confidence. Confidence is persuasive. You would hardly listen to a salesperson who tells a customer, “I recommend you buy product A. It might work.” Might work? That’s not going to get a sale. Instead, if you are uncomfortable being direct with the recommendation, establish that you recommended the product successfully to another customer and you recommend he also use it.
Words are definitely the tools of the trade for sales professionals. I recommend you use the right words because you will sell more. How’s that for using your words to sell?