Tag Archive | "language"

Watch Your Words – That Seven Percent Will Make or Break You


Our words in sales may only make up 7 percent of effective communication, but they are almost always deal breakers or deal makers. ‘Words’ doesn’t just mean learning the correct question to ask or knowing all the facts about your product, it means carefully choosing every word you say and when you say it. I’ll say it again, because this is so important…

“You don’t miss sales by a few dollars, you miss sales by a few words.”

It’s amazing how salespeople will choose their words carefully if they’re around their grandparents, or a potential new girlfriend, or at church – but not in sales. Cussing around my grandmother would have gotten me smacked for sure. Not being on your best behavior might get you a stern look from grandpa, it can cost you a girlfriend, and you know the unwritten rules about what to say in church.

But when it comes to their career, and the job they depend on to make a living for themselves and their families, a lot of salespeople blow sales out of the water every day. They don’t want to do simple stuff like dress like a professional and they don’t want to change what they say either.

The stand-by excuses are, “I’m more comfortable dressing like I do,” or “My customers don’t want to talk to someone in a suit.” And when it comes to learning a better way to greet the customer or close the sale they’ll say, “I’m not going to learn some canned script,” or “I don’t want too.”

What’s that definition of insanity? “Doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result.”

It’s true, and if you won’t change how you look, how you act, how you sound, and won’t develop new skills or change what you do or say in sales, you won’t change your income either.

Let’s look at some words and things you say now, that you need to change right away because they’re costing you sales every day. These aren’t skills, they’re just words that create the wrong impressions, reactions or the wrong focus in the sale.

First, we all know our customers are nervous and uncomfortable when they’re out buying a new car. They don’t do this very often and they know if they’re not careful when they’re shopping, they’ll end up paying too much or buying the wrong vehicle for them (like a lot of them did last time).

Our customers also have a few built-in objections when they hit the lot. The key word in that last sentence, though, was a few objections. They start out with five potential objections (on the next column) and salespeople either add a few more or make the ones customers already have even worse.

  • Price is a standard potential objection. It’s always a question or concern, but price is number 16 on their list of buying motives. Most salespeople only hear price though, and that’s all they talk about (their words focus on price).
  • Trade-ins, another potential objection. Watch your words and do not knock their trade or toss out stupid numbers on its value to get their reaction. You’ll get a reaction, but you won’t like it. Those words may cost you a deal.
  • Payments are standard objections, but this is really a budget issue if you say the right words and handle it right. Learning to bypass price and build value is the key.
  • Down payments are an objection for most. Say the right words (scripts), you’re OK. Wrong words, you’re toast.
  • Trust is critical. They don’t know you, like you or trust you (at least not yet) … that’s what the selling process and the words you say are designed to help you accomplish.

Those are the built-in objections, the rest we tack on along the way by not listening and by saying the wrong things (the words we use). Selling is like running a race with hurdles. There are five on the track and 50 more on the sidelines that somebody throws out any time we don’t handle the sale professionally.

  • Profanity. There’s no place for it at work. TV language for mature audiences is not OK with customers. Pretend you’re in church or wake up and show respect for the person in front of you who may let you earn $500 in a couple of hours.
  • Trade slang costs you money, too. You understand the words, but people outside the car business don’t.
  • Rejection words have negative connotations and create objections. To avoid adding more objections, replace the words on the left with the ones on the right…
    Buy – Sell……………………………. Own
    Price………………………………….. Current Market Value
    Price (Used)…………………………. Live Market Value
    Sign…………………………………… OK – Approve
    Monthly Payment……………………. Monthly Investment
    Down Payment………………………. Initial Investment
    Contract……………………………… Agreement
  • Pre-qualifying people. The negative people in the huddle are wrong. You never want to pre-qualify, whether you’re talking to a buyer or not. 78 percent are going to buy and you can’t tell who won’t by looking or by asking those dumb things the six-car guy taught you. You’re guessing wrong six out of eight times right now, so just stop. You’re creating objections and losing deals.

Cars and trucks are the easiest products you could have picked to sell. Everybody has one, they’ll always buy more, and to send them home today, just listen to find out what’s really important to them, and just say the right words.

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