Recently I listened to sale guru Tom Hopkins describe 7 words that drive fear into the hearts of clients and realized how common those words were in my own sales copy (I have replaced many of them immediately with very good results).
I couldn’t believe how much it was effecting my overall small business marketing strategy.
Learning that your internal selling system was flawed was humbling yet refreshing because I knew knew there was hope to improve.
Here are the seven words that create fear in your small business clients hearts and the phraseology you should replace it with.
#1) Cost – how much will this item”cost”, this item “costs” X, the cost of this service is X.
Replacement – Total Investment. Your “total investment” today will be X.
The word “cost” has a negative connotation. That “cost” him dearly”. At what “cost” would this come.
When you say the word “cost” your client associates it with a negative. So you are actually making the “investment” process more uncomfortable and you will be less likely to succeed. On the flip side, replacing “cost” with the phrase “total investment” creates a “warm and fussy” feeling with your clients. People like to “invest” in things, specially themselves, and this is a good way to remind them their purchase is actually an “investment”.
#2) Price – the “price” today is X, the “price” has been discounted, that is a high “price” to pay.
Replacement – Total Investment. The “total investment” today is X. Your total investment is X.
Again, just like the word “cost”, the word “price” causes fear and reminds people of sacrifice or loss. “Total Investment” on the other hand is a positive term that people like to hear.
#3) Down Payment – your down payment today would be X.
Replacement – Initial Investment. Your initial investment for this furniture would be X. The small initial investment is X.
Again, investment is a positive term that will lessen your clients resistance to price.
#4) Monthly Payment – Your monthly payment is X.
Replacement – Monthly Investment. Your monthly investment for the appliances will be X. The small monthly investment is only X.
People are use to the term monthly investment. Whether they invest in a savings account, a Christmas club, or a credit union on a monthly basis, an investment is a positive term that adds value to the transaction.
#5) Contract – Please sign this contract on the dotted line. Let me draw up a contract.
Replacement – Paperwork or Agreement. Great, lets review the paperwork. Why don’t you start filling in the agreement and I’ll get us a cup of coffee.
No one wants to sign a “contract”. Cellular companies could learn a thing or two from this. How many times have you been burned from signing a contract. Filling in the paperwork or agreement is much less threatening than signing a contract and puts your client ast ease.
#6) Buy – Would you like to buy this today? We only have two left, you better buy it while you can.
Replacement – Own. You could own this today for a small monthly investment of only X. I think owning a policy like this would give you peace of mind… do you think so too?
People don’t like to buy things, specially expensive things. But they love to own things, specailly expensive things. Ownership makes people proud. Look at the Green Bay Packers football franchise. It is owned by the share owners. No one has any say about the team but they all “own” a piece of the team. Why do you think their games have been sold out for years? Pride of “ownership”. Help your client invest to own.
#7) Sell or Sold – We’ve sold a lot of these. These sell really well.
Replacement – Acquire or Get Involved. People like to get involved with (acquire) a life insurance policy because of the protection and security it offers your family.
No one wants to be sold to yet everyone wants to own things. When you state that “we’ve sold a lot of these” the first thing people think is… “thats fine, but I’m not going to be sold to, I’ll buy it if I want”. You are now a “sales person” trying to sell them something, not someone trying to help them make the right choice.
The key is in the phraseology used. Professional sales people practice and rehearse such as an actor would. They use the correct phraseology to move the clients emotional buttons closer to closing the sale.
Remember, people buy on emotion. The better you are at guiding the emotional experience through the sales process the more successful you will be.