Way back when in my college days, a psychology class experiment proved a point about the subconscious mind. The professor asked us to close our eyes and imagine eating a lemon. As he described the act of eating the lemon, he instructed us to imagine the smell of the lemon and the sour taste of the lemon hitting our tongues. As he guided us through the visualization process our mouths began salivating as if we were actually eating a lemon! Our subconscious mind didn’t know the difference between the reality of not eating a lemon and our imagination of eating a lemon. I never forgot that powerful point.
And you know the old saying,
“Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you (but Charles F. Glassman, Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life adds this)…unless you believe them. Then, they can destroy you.”
Words can be used as a tool to impact change, motivation, persuasion, and influence. With the advent of brain imaging, it’s now easy to detect just how powerful words can alert our subconscious and conscious mind, just like the experiment of imagining the act of eating a lemon.
“Like other sounds, speech is just airwaves vibrating. But somehow we cannot ignore speech like background noise. We perceive it almost obligatorily,”
-Ingrid Johnsrude at Cambridge University. (source)
Geoffrey Crossick, chief executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board said this…
“Language is at the very heart of what makes us human….It is about how we think, understand the world and communicate with each other. If we are to understand these activities, let alone to harness technology to help us carry them out, it is essential that we understand language and how it works.” (source)
Powerful Word Choices For Closing More Sales. Learn 3 Tips Below
In sales, the word choices for closing sales are powerful persuasion tools for the subconscious mind too. Certain words have been proven to trigger a response. There are actually over 20 words and phrases that have a psychological effect on the subconscious. In this article, you’ll learn 3 powerful phrases you can use during the sales process.
Tip #1 Just Out of Curiosity
Maybe the buyer has stalled the process, and no matter what you do or say, it seems you can’t move them forward. “Just out of curiosity” is a phrase that can be used as a softer approach.
Just out of curiosity what do you think would need to happen for us to move forward?
The subconscious starts to search for an answer! The buyer doesn’t feel pushed and “just out of curiosity” phrase can open the door to further discussions on what needs to be resolved in order for the buyer to move forward.
Tip #2 Would you like this or that?
McDonald’s does this brilliantly.
Would you like fries with that?
Would you like to supersize that?
Are the McDonald’s sales clerks nervous asking you to make a choice? No! They don’t feel they’re being pushy by asking either. Yet, I hear so often in my coaching practice that salespeople are reluctant to give the buyer choices for fear of being perceived as pushy. Do you think you have more experience in selling than the average McDonald’s fast food clerk? Unless you’re giving your prospect choices, I’d say the fast food clerk has the advantage.
Mr. Buyer, would you like plan a or is plan b better choice for you?
Tip #3 What questions do you have for me?
I have a pet peeve about asking, Do you have any questions? Why? Because we have been programmed since childhood to say no. As children, we were told “no” a million times from our parents. You can read more about that, in this article here.
Also, the question implies to the subconscious mind, if you don’t have questions, you better come up with some, so the buyer’s response is “I’ll need to think about it”. That’s not the response you’re looking for!!
Instead, use the phrase…
What questions do you have for me?
Framed in this manner, the question implies a conversation instead of a simple “Yes” or “No” response. I challenge you to go back and track how many times you’ve received the response from the buyer, “I’ll have to think about it“. My guess is you’ll be surprised the number of times you’ve lost sales because of “do you have any questions?” question.
You may be asking yourself, do these tweaks in words really matter? Try out these 3 and find out for yourself. Often times its a different approach, using phrases in a communication style that resonants with the subconscious mind that has the biggest impact.
Why not try these suggestions?
Christine Harrington is the Savvy Sales Lady, helping sales teams and individuals win more sales through a unique way of selling called Peak Performance Mindset. Christine brings 40 years of selling experience with Fortune 500 Companies, to help you shorten the learning curve, move past your selling blocks and position yourself as a Peak Performer. Sales Leaders, Sales Managers, Sales Teams, Small Business owners and their employees have captured their edge by attending Christine’s Peak Performance Mindset Workshop and Coaching. Learn how she can help you or your team. Get the edge by clicking here.