The Art and Science of Language in Sales – Part II

There is both an art and a science to the language you use in sales. The art of it requires diligent practice, creativity, and the ability to paint a clear picture of the benefits of buying your solution. The science of it relies on the psychological triggers you can leverage to land more contracts. The trick to closing more deals — and stacking the deck in your favor — is finding the balance between art and science of language in sales. (Part II)

If you ask ten salespeople what their closing ratio is, nine will probably give you a number they think is good. But I can guarantee, that nine of those nine will say their closing rate is none-of-his-business.

There are several areas where sales people can find ways of improving their closing rate. They will also list several areas where they are allowing themselves to become frustrated. One area is the ability to ask quality questions.

Sometimes sales people will start with a question like, “Are you planning to remodel your kitchen?”

Other times they might say, “When are you planning to remodel your kitchen?”

What is better, and what isn’t? What about the fact that both sales people asked a question, but what they were basing their question on, behind the question? With a question like that, what is the conditioning behind the question?

If the question is, “Are you planning to remodel your kitchen,” the sales person is probably saying to himself, “I bet there will be a lot of new appliances and automatons in the coming months, if that’s the case.” And as they precede that question, their minds are processing what they just heard.

One of my favorite questions centers around ‘rewards or consequences.’ Sales people tend to say “We can increase your productivity” or “We can increase your profitability.” But what are you actually going to do, if I do a ‘good job’ on this endor tackle ‘bad tasks’ on their end.

Would that even make any sense of what the sales person just said? Could you see them trying to justify what they are suggesting to you? In that kind of arena, it could come down to both their ‘life-braces,’ and their need to justify what they are saying.

Another area where both skills come together, is in the questioning of qualifying questions. There are two main types – those you develop yourself, and then there are sales people who would acknowledge their firm would have certain questions to ask about your business or situation in order to qualify you as to their comfort level.

So it becomes important to know what to ask, and what to say in order to qualify prospects for the size of deals your firm would be willing to consider.

Some of the information leakage that is taking place exhibits when both you and your sales staff are not being honest with each other. And you are losing sales opportunities every day because of that.

One last area where both skills very well may come together for you in a meeting is in the area of ‘closing the deal.’ As you know, when you think about it, how did you become a salesperson in the first place? It wasn’t to sell, but to educate.

Sales people need to ask questions like: “When you think about how this will improve the capability overall for different departments and processes, what will it cost in terms of time?”

As your staff comes up with solutions, their offering you need to be able to ask them questions like: “What problems do you have that have to solve?” “So if that is the case, what it will mean for you, or what does it mean for the capabilities and abilities of your organization, in terms of things being done differently?”

The real benefit is that you have learned a great deal about the people in your marketplace, which, at the same time you are learning about their challenges, which means you have a more powerful position to help them reach a win/win situation.

Whenever you want to learn more about any area of business, just make a list of your most pressing problem, and then ask your colleagues those problem solving questions.

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