Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's HOW you say it

Some great examples from Art Sobczak:

Avoiding Self-Sabotage


Here's part of an email I received from a reader.

"Art, an email I received from a vendor, in response to
a question we asked about a policy issue, started out with,
'You're not going to like this, but ...'

"I continued reading, now feeling bitter. However, what
was said was really nothing more than what we already
knew and expected.

"I would love to see your take on something like this.
A piece on the things we do to sabotage ourselves
when all we were intending to do was soften the cold
hard reality."

OK. Good idea. Let's look at a few.

Pointing Out Negatives They
Probably Wouldn't Notice

I was talking to guy about some training for
his small business and mentioned I visited
his website. He immediately apologized for
some things (which he perceived as negatives)
on the site I hadn't even noticed. After he
mentioned them, I guess I did recall them, but
really didn't feel they were negatives at the time.

Some people obsess about things that no
one other than them would ever see. But, when
they're highlighted for us, then we tend to see them.
For example, red cars in the parking lot outside
your building. There. Now I bet that you'll look
for them.

And just think about anyone who has ever said,
"Do I look fat in this?"

It's All in the Positioning
I remember years ago when my kids were little,
my wife made the comment, "I'll let the kids know that
they have to stay at Grandma's house tonight since we're
going out."

Of course she didn't intend that to sound negative, but
sometimes we say things that can be interpreted
differently than we intend (to say the least!). Leaving
nothing to chance, I told her that I would tell them.

So, I put a different spin on it:

"Kids! Guess what? You GET to go spend the
night at Grandma's!"

"Yay!", they screamed.

Giving TMI (Too Much Info)
I've heard many-a-sales rep talk too much about
facts irrelevant to what the prospect/customer
cared about. The danger here is creating objections.

A sales rep handled an incoming call where the buyer
asked for information on a new calculator model he
was looking carry in his catalog since he had heard
good things about it. Understand now, that the inquirer
was interested in placing a large order right then and there
for an initial shipment. Things were progressing smoothly
until the rep added, "Now of course, these don't come
with the AC adapter."

The prospect immediately changed his tone and said,
"Hmmm, I didn't really expect them to, but now I'll
have to think about this a bit." Lost sale.

Here are a few others:

Instead of,
"I'm just calling today ...", try,

"I'm CALLING today ...".

Instead of,
"So you probably don't want to buy?", try,

"Shall we move forward with the delivery?"

Instead of,
"I imagine you're not looking for another vendor?", try,

"What plans do you have for a backup vendor in
case you need something and your present
source doesn't have what you need, when you need it?"

Instead of,
"Well, it is expensive, the price is ...", try,

"You're getting (benefit) and (benefit) and it's only..."

Instead of,
"I'll have to check on that for you.", try,

"I'll be happy to research that for you."

I have just scratched the surface here, and I'm sure
there are plenty that sound like fingernails across a
chalkboard. (I just realized that some people reading
this might not have ever seen a chalkboard.)

If you have sabotaged a call with a phrase or question,
or have a pet peeve, please share them with me and I'll
pass a few along to readers in a future issue.

Go and Have Your Best Week Ever!


"Our business in this world is not to succeed, but to
continue to fail in good spirits."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Contact: Art Sobczak, President, Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens St.,
Omaha, NE 68137,
(402) 895-9399. Or,

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