I loved English at school – and I did very well in my O Levels (as they were called back then) in both English Language and English Literature. Perhaps that’s why, when I studied for my NLP Practitioner and then my NLP Masters, my favourite module of both programmes was LANGUAGE.
They say WORDS paint PICTURES, and a PICTURE paints a thousand WORDS….
I mean, just imagine a snow white, crisp frosty ground on a sub-zero winter’s day, as you trudge through the crunchy ground beneath your feet, kept warm and cosy in your snug, furry mountain boots, the blizzardly wind taking your breath away, as you attempt to climb the Welsh mountain that stares menacingly before you…..
OK, you’re back in the room! And you get my drift, right?
Our WORDS are also the vessels on which our THOUGHTS are carried – so be careful what you’re thinking when you’re in conversation with someone, because those thoughts will transform into words, which may not always be the right or appropriate words to use, to get you to a win-win outcome.
Besides, THOUGHTS become THINGS, as the Law of Attraction has taught us….and our WORDS are the CLOTHES that our THOUGHTS wear, so we need to dress them well.
The brain processes EVERYTHING in only 2 ways – through WORDS and PICTURES.
So, when it comes to influencing someone’s perception of you, or your business, or the decision you want them to make e.g. to buy something from you, then it’s really worth giving some proper thought to the words you will use and the pictures those words will create in your prospect’s mind.
Helping your prospect or customer to paint positive, bright, colourful pictures in their mind, will encourage their decision to say YES &/or accept what you’re telling them – and the definition of SELLING is exactly that…“influencing someone’s decision to accept your proposal”. Well, you achieve that by ensuring you paint positive and empowering pictures through the words you’re using to influence your customer’s decision – simple hey!?
We also know that the brain CAN’T process a NEGATIVE.
If I say to you “DON’T think of a Pink Elephant!” you will unconsciously picture a pink elephant in your mind, because that’s the only way the brain can make sense of that statement – it has to think of and picture the pink elephant, in order not to think of it! So, when you’re painting those pictures for your prospect or customer through the words you’re using, ensure those words are POSITIVE.
One final, fascinating truth about the power of LANGUAGE is that the mind will process those words and pictures in a way that is PERFECT for its CREATOR. In other words(!), we will interpret someone’s words in a way that fits with our model of the world and in a way that makes sense for us.
Which is why there is such enormous value in developing RAPPORT with people, specifically in the tricky customer service scenario or sales situation, in order to get on that person’s wavelength, understand the channel they’re communicating in – listen out for the WORDS they’re using and then match them appropriately. This way, you’ll be more in tune with their thought processes and be able to influence the pictures they paint through the words you use, increasing your chances of that win-win outcome.
The brilliant Phil. M Jones, best-selling author of Exactly What To Say: The Magic Words For Influence and Impact and the equally insightful Exactly How To Sell and Exactly Where To Start, says that the decision between a customer choosing you over someone like you, is your ability to know exactly what to say, when to say it and how to make it count.
I’ve swiped & deployed what I’m naming ‘The Golden Dozen’ from Phil’s fabulous collection of powerful phrases to encourage the win-win – and I’m delighted to share them with you here, using OUR business as the example of how to put these golden phrases into practice ….
POWERFUL PHRASES FOR THE SALES CONVERSATION – THE GOLDEN DOZEN
1. “I’m not sure if it’s for you, however…” e.g. I’m not sure if it’s for you, however many of our clients opt for a launch event as a means of kickstarting their culture change programme
2. “How would you feel if…” e.g. How would you feel if you got to be one of the finalists for Sales Team of the Year as a result of this programme?
3. “Just imagine…” e.g. Just imagine what it would be like to be the first-choice provider in your industry!
4. “Two types of people…” e.g. There are two types of people in this world – those who resist change and hope things will just settle down in time and those who embrace change, looking for the opportunities that can come out of it…
5. “I bet you’re a bit like me…” e.g. I bet you’re a bit like me – you need to have some proof or evidence that this stuff actually works, back in the real world, once the classroom learning is done – am I right?
6. “If…then…” e.g. If you’re able to confirm go-ahead by close of play this week, then I’ll commit to leading on this project and get the dates in my diary to start from the 1st of next month – how does that sound to you?
7. “Most people…” e.g. Most people want to know at this stage, how we go about engaging frontline teams and getting them ‘on the bus’ in preparation for the journey ahead…
8. “What makes you say that…” e.g. That’s an interesting viewpoint – what makes you say that?
9. “Before you make your mind up…” e.g. Before you make your mind up, why don’t we put you in touch with a couple of our clients who’ve experienced exactly what you’re going through right now, so they can share their stories with you?
10. “If I can…will you…” e.g. If I can guarantee that it will be me, as your Account Director, who will lead on this project, then will you commit to working with First Impression Training?
11. “Just one more thing…” e.g. Just more thing, before we finish up – how open minded would your stakeholders be to us running a pilot of this culture change programme, so we can prove ROI to them ahead of roll-out?
12. “Just out of curiosity…” e.g. Just out of curiosity, what is it specifically you need some time to think about?
Ref: “Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact” by Phil M Jones
Enjoy painting those pictures and make sure those words are appropriately dressed!