How Persuasive Are You?

Every Word That You Utter To A Client Should Be “Positioned” vs.”Exchanged”. Language Helps Sell!

By Linda Richardson

When you speak with your clients, do you exchange information or shape perceptions? Here’s the difference:

A client requested an example of a document. The salesperson promptly e-mailed it to the client — “Attached please find the … document you requested. Thank you and I will follow up with you on …”

This salesperson exchanged information. Sadly, he/she missed the chance to shape perception of value, for example, by reinforcing tailored benefits or even thanking the client for his/her interest and saying how much he/she looks forward to the client’s feedback.

Take every opportunity to shape perceptions by positioning what you say. Every word that you utter to a client should be “positioned” vs. “exchanged”. Language helps sell!

Some salespeople are naturals at positioning, but they are in the minority (about 1 in 10). For those not so lucky, the key is to ask yourself, “Will this sell?”, “What are the benefits to my client?”, “Will my client think this is something that will help him/her?”, “Am I positioning this to shape perceptions?”

The words you choose — spoken or written, letters or e-mails, delivered face-to-face or by phone — help shape the client’s perception.

Positioning is much more than providing or exchanging information. It is shaping the information to create a perception of value and motivate interest. Positioning helps you help your client see the value and benefits you provide. It is the spin. It is not misrepresentation or exaggeration. What you say should be fiercely accurate, but it is your job to help the client see the benefits. Positioning is the difference between a one-dimensional picture and a pop-up. Flat or alive! Positioned information stands and speaks to the client.

Here is a checklist to help you assess how persuasive you are:

· Is it structured so it is easy to understand?

· Is it tailored to the client’s needs?


· Are you including tailored benefits as well as features?

· Are you using positive, graphic language?

· Have you incorporated the client’s language?

· Are you concise?

· Are you keeping it interactive by asking for feedback?

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