The Importance of Language in Sales
Whether you like it or not, your choice of language has a huge impact on your ability to sell. Your conscious or unconscious use of vocabulary can come back to bite you. Alternatively it could make you seem infinitely more trustworthy. You may be sitting there daunted about the possibility of changing how you talk. Don’t be. Language is just a tool in your sales arsenal. Embrace it, don’t fear it. Here’s how your use of language in sales is so important.
Let’s Have a Conversation
As (clearly) experienced recruiters, we doubt you suffer with this but it’s an easy trap to fall into. You should never talk up (or down) to anyone when selling to them. Have a conversation, don’t pitch. Now, we’re not saying you should pick up the phone and engage in a bit of cheeky banter. However, build a little rapport – you’re not a robot!
Don’t Obviously Lead the Conversation
It’s true you should always live by the mantra ‘always be closing’, just don’t make it obvious that’s what you’re doing. Have a clear direction where the conversation should go but leave everything to happen naturally. Excessive use of tag questions like ‘don’t you?’ can make you appear manipulative and untrustworthy.
Sell Benefits, Not Specifications
So you’ve got a great job to offer. The package looks great and you know this candidate will love your spec. Stop and think. Don’t just fire them a list of specifications. Explain the personal benefits that will directly affect them. Prove to them how it’ll boost their quality of life. Selling a new lifestyle is far easier than selling a job with a £2,000 pay rise.
Open Ended Questions
It’s the recruiter’s favourite tool, open ended questions. You probably learned about this when you first joined the industry. But how effective are yours? Next time you’re asking questions and getting blunt responses, maybe it’s time to take a different approach. We’re not going to take you back to your first day of sales training here – we know you’ve got this in your locker.
So you’re feeling a little tired, you’ve hit a slump and got one eye on the clock. You may be feeling lazy but that’s no excuse for your language to head that way. If you use lazy language with a client or candidate, they’ll assume the worst. If you’ve ever said ‘you know what I mean?’ on the phone we’re looking at you!
You’re a Recruitment Consultant, so consult! Release the pressure from the situation. You can’t elbow your way into a deal, you can however boost the chances of a placement with your professionalism. Use a relaxed tone of voice and control the conversation with relevant, information gathering questions. Take your time replying and offer guidance.
A Few Turn-Off Terms and How to Avoid Them
There are some terms which naturally annoy people. Here’s what they are, why they frustrate us and how to get around them:
- Honestly – Oh you’re being honest now? Anyone who uses this often sounds pretty dishonest if you ask us. Our guess is that you’re using this as a filler, you don’t need an alternative.
- Speaking to – Okay so you’re talking at people? That’s not something you want to be sharing with your clients. Try to use ‘talking with’, it gives the impression of a two-way discussion.
- I appreciate your time – How impersonal do you want to sound? Try a simple ‘thank you’, it’ll go a long way.
- But – This is a really negative word, you don’t want to be saying ‘but’ to anyone. Try replacing it with ‘and’.
- I think – You’re the expert here, never sell yourself short by saying that you ‘think’ something. If you genuinely don’t know, admit it and find the answer.
- No problem – This makes us think that you could potentially have a problem if we ask again. Try saying ‘you’re welcome’. You’ll sound nicer.
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