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Listen Intently, And Choose Your Words Wisely - Articles Surfing
Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a group of investment executives in California. One of my mentors, Doug Wood, attended the meeting. Doug has 40 years of experience in the investment industry, and is a legend in the investment wholesaling business. He is a master salesperson, manager, trainer, and entrepreneur. He started out as a speech and drama teacher, and he has always been a stickler for making exceptional presentations. After every presentation he provides me, (or any of the hundreds of other salespeople he has trained) with critique and guidance on how to improve my presentation. One thing I love about Doug is that he always tells me the truth. As a sales trainer and professional speaker, this is invaluable!
One thing I have learned from Doug is that the biggest part of selling is listening. All other things being equal, the salesperson that listens best is the one who gets the sale, and in the most effective sales presentations, professional salespeople listen 60 to 80% of the time. If we truly follow this guideline then we need to make sure we choose our words carefully.
Selling is a profession of numbers and averages, and we want to be certain we have all of the odds in our favor. This includes everything, including our attire, sales materials, presentation and closing technique, service, and even the words we choose to use in our presentations. Years ago I heard of a study conducted at Yale University over a 30 year period of time which yielded a list of the twelve most persuasive words in the English Language. These words are as follows:
You, Money, Save, New, Results,Discovery, Easy,Help, Safety, Proven, Guarantee, Have
When we construct our sales presentations, we pay attention to their structure. For example, we want to start off with the challenge or problems that the prospect faces, then a description of how our product of service provides a solution, and close with a strong call to action. However, this is not enough. Everything is important, including personal appearance, sales and collateral materials, how we position ourselves in the *Selling Space,* as well as etiquette and manners when we entertain.
If a professional salesperson is only speaking 20 to 40% of the time, it is common sense that they should choose to use words that provide the greatest opportunity to be persuasive and move the prospect to action. We have all heard that you should *Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak,* and the mental imagery that we use is made up of carefully chosen words and phrases. Make sure, as Dr. Stephen R. Covey says, to *Seek first to understand, then be understood,* and when it becomes time to be understood, use these words to make your presentations even more powerful and effective.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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