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The Sales Buzz Issue 267 - Sales Language Mistakes that Lose Sales
April 22, 2015

Sales Language Mistakes that Lose Sales

A sales language mistake that sales people make regularly is to use a negative question.

This can lose you the opportunity of closing the sale from the very first contact with a potential customer.

In this week's Sales Buzz you can:

Make sure you’re not making this common error.

And, learn how to create an introduction where every word works towards your objective.

Let's start with a real example that happened to me only this morning and that highlights the impact it has on prospects.

Example of Sales Language Mistake That Lost the Sale from First Contact

As I walked towards the entrance to the gym this morning I noticed a member of the gym team standing at a table with some papers on it.

I didn’t take any notice as I assumed he was looking to recruit new members from the passing people.

I was dressed in a track suit and going into the gym entrance so he could see there was no point trying to get me to join.

So I was surprised when he asked me a question.

As I passed his table, and that made me answer him automatically, I responded without thinking.

His question was, ‘I don’t suppose you can think of anyone that you would like to bring to the gym on a free visitors pass?’

My response was, ‘No I can’t.’

As I went through the turnstiles into the gym I realised that my response was totally false. I often take my daughter to the gym and we pay a visitor’s fee as she lives some distance away and it’s not worth her joining the same one that I go to.

Why did I respond by saying no?

A Basic Sales Language Mistake

The guy from the gym made a basic, and very common, sales language mistake.

...That’s not a criticism of him as he is a trainer not a trained salesman...

Remember his question, ‘I don’t suppose you can think of anyone that you would like to bring to the gym on a free visitors pass?’

He didn’t suppose I could think of anyone. He was embedding a command in his words and it worked, I agreed with him.

Even though this was a free offer, and something I could benefit from, I still turned it down without thinking because of the way he worded the question.

Using Negatives – A Very Common Sales Language Mistake

Using a negative in the first contact with a potential customer is very common.

Now we’ve discussed it here you will hear lots of examples in many different sales situations and where someone is trying to influence others.

It has the opposite effect from the desired one.

Examples of Sales Language Mistake

Here are some examples where you will hear the negative used as sales people make first contact with prospects:

Retail sales: Are you okay there, you don’t need any help?

Telesales cold calling: You wouldn’t be interested in...?

Sales appointment cold calls: You wouldn’t be available...?

Field sales B2B sales prospecting: You couldn’t tell me who looks after...?

These are just a few examples of where sales people make this sales language mistake.

They probably don’t realise they are using a negative, no one has ever trained them on this or given them constructive feedback.

The first action you want to now take is to go through what you say to prospects when making first contact with them and make sure you are asking positive sales questions.

The next action is set out below...

How to Create a Positive Sales Introduction

At the website we have just updated the section on cold call introductions.

The free sales training shows you how to avoid making sales language mistakes, and how to create a first contact cold call script that makes every word work towards your objective, not against you.

Take a look at the updates section starting with creating an introduction at Cold Calling Scripts...

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I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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