When you close sales, very often it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Like a good actor, the sales rep with the right delivery can make magic happen. But botched pacing, incorrect inflection, and low energy can turn a potential Oscar-worthy performance into a straight-to-DVD disaster. In his book Sales Scripts That Close Every Deal: 420 Tested Responses to 30 of the Most Difficult Customer Objections
(McGraw-Hill, 2006), Selling Power founder and CEO Gerhard Gschwandtner shares the following tips for taking your performance to the next level.
Match the customer’s voice. Studies have shown that we trust people who sound like we sound. If your prospect is speaking slowly, slow down. With a fast talker, pick up the pace. Also pay attention to volume.
Be positive. When customers are curt or attack your company, don’t get defensive. Respond with positive energy. If they say they’re busy, you say, “Great! Busy people are our best customers because we save them so much time!” If they say they want to remain with their present vendor, you say, “I’m not asking for all your business. If you give just 1 percent, we’ll earn the other 99 percent!”
Use empathy. When prospects hesitate, it’s often out of fear. In these cases, let them take center stage. After listening, use such phrases as “I understand how you feel,” or “We’ve all been disappointed at some time, haven’t we?”
Avoid canned speeches. Some sales reps become superstitious about certain lines or phrases that never seem to fail, but beware of sounding like a robot. People are sensitive to canned responses. Stay fresh by changing your language every once in a while.
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