I am constantly on the look-out for little things that can get you a better response from your customer when selling and was reminded of a couple of things at my in-house trainings recently.

1. Change “Why” questions to “How” questions whenever you can

Sometimes “why” makes prospects feel defensive and it can sound interrogating or demanding when you don’t have the right tone in your voice. You can also increase the amount of information you get from your customer if you begin your questions with “how”. “How” sounds less challenging too.

For example:

Salesperson: “Why did you buy from Pilkingtons?”

Could be changed to:

Salesperson: “How did you make a decision to purchase from Pilkingtons?”

Salesperson: “Why aren’t you interested?”

Could be changed to:

Salesperson: “How specifically could we make this of more interest to you?”

2. Avoid using the word “BUT” to counter an objection

This one little word, “but” is often used when responding to an objection and it can spoil everything else you say. “But” negates everything yo say before it, therefore disagreement is all the customer hears.

If a customer raises an objection, acknowledge it and follow with the word “and”, as opposed to “but”.

An example would be:

Customer: “This software sounds like it would take a long time to install”.

Salesperson: “Yes, it does take a long time to install and that challenge is taken care of by our own consultants who set the whole thing up for you as part of the service.”

Customer: “It’s very expensive”.

Salesperson: “I understand that you think that and that’s why I would like to include a service contract in the price for you for three years at no cost. How does that sound?

3. Avoid “I’m just calling about ….”

“Just” belittles what you are about to say in this context and makes your message less important. It is almost like you are apologising for calling ,when what you have to talk about is very important.

Simply say “The reason for my call is ………”. It sounds more professional and confident.

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