Salespeople – Find a Way to Win!

June 26, 2010 by  Filed under: Sales 

Los Angeles Angels Manager Mike Scoscia was interviewed on ESPN radio after his team defeated the LA Dodgers 2-1, in a game that ended on a peculiar defensive play.

Scoscia remarked: “We found a way to win.”

True, enough, but after I heard this comment I started to deconstruct it as an English teacher might do.

The teacher might say this sentence is too passive, it would be improved by simply stating: “We won!”

That would give ownership to “We” instead of letting it roll around in that netherworld of “A way to win.”

The “way” didn’t win. The Angels did, so take credit!

But smart ballplayers and managers avoid crowing because they may be goats, tomorrow, on the losing side of embarrassing contests. Purposely, not taking full ownership of a victory is smart communication. It makes sports luminaries seem modest, at least to a point.

Salespeople take note. Sometimes a more modest close beats a more direct one.

“Let’s get this done, okay?” can be a much more palatable way of saying, “Let’s do this, okay?”

The latter can sound too aggressive, too demanding, and arouse resistance.

Admittedly, this is a small change, but it’s powerful.

Likewise, there is a time to put your statements into the active voice, especially when you are offering praise.

It is warmer and more rewarding to remark, “You did it!” instead of “You got it done.” In complimenting someone, it pays to be more lavish, to place ownership of the deed in the doers hands, and not to suggest at all that circumstances or the “it,” the deed itself, accounted for the win.

Always test small changes in your sales language, because more assertive CAN be better. Don’t over-generalize the virtues of modesty.

For example, we tracked how many yeses we produced when saying, “What we’ll do is this,” versus “What we’d like to do is this.”

“We’ll do” closed twice as many deals as “Like to do.”

Relentlessly refine your sales language, and I’m sure you, too will find a way to win!

Dr. Gary S. Goodman is a top-ranked sales speaker, negotiation speaker, and customer service speaker at Google, and a distinguished, sought-after telemarketing speaker, motivational speaker, and attorney. President of Customersatisfaction.com, he is a frequent TV and radio commentator and the best-selling author of 12 books and more than 1,700 articles that appear in 25,000 publications. Gary conducts seminars and speaks at convention programs around the world. His new audio program is Nightingale-Conant’s “Crystal Clear Communication: How to Explain Anything Clearly in Speech & Writing,” which you can try at: http://www.nightingale.com/prod_detail.aspx?product=Crystal_Clear_Communication&promo=INTAF416. Professional speaking, seminar, and consulting invitations can be addressed to:gary@customersatisfaction.com.

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