Do you think of yourself as the center of the universe? Hopefully not. Unfortunately, if we’re not thoughtful in our approach to sales conversations we can sound like we do.
When it comes to sales, the word “I” can be a barrier to connecting with prospects and clients.
Does this sound familiar? “Hello, I’m John Smith. I work for the Smith Company, and this is what we do, and this is how long we’ve been in business, and these are our clients, and we’d love to help you.” (“We,” as used in this example, is just as bad as “I.”)
Here’s a reality check… nobody cares. This is an example of a sales call you wouldn’t want to receive, and clearly one shouldn’t make. Prospects are unlikely to decide to buy based on the unique history of your company, but rather because they can see how your product or service will meet their needs or solve their problems.
Instead, why not focus your conversation on the listener? “Thank you for the chance to discuss how the Smith Company can help you achieve your goals.” A simple change in words, but a dramatic change in how you come across.
If you’re not sure whether you use you-focused language or are an “I” abuser, record your sales pitches and then review them objectively. Speakers often focus on eliminating pauses like “uh” and “um.” This is an excellent practice and will add to your credibility, but be aware that also addressing “I” versus “you” mistakes will make an even more profound difference in your connection with prospects and clients.
For more on successful sales conversations, here are a few more helpful articles on Fripp.com: “How to Make A Sale by Making Your Questions Count,” “Powerful Sales Presentations Focus on Client’s Problems” “Sales Presentations – Your Audience, They Really Don’t Care Who You Are,” and “There Are No Shortcuts to Effective Sales Conversations.”
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“In my 12 years in sales and marketing, you are the most dynamic, charismatic, and knowledgeable sales presentation trainer and executive speech coach that I know. After your presentation skills training, both my sales and technical support team are closing more sales!”
– Bill Lewis, Director of Sales and Marketing, North America, Unitech America, Inc.
Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.