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LINGUISTICS IS THE STUDY of human language. Since a sales pitch is essentially just a conversation between two people, those with a deep understanding of the nuances behind the spoken word will be more successful sales professionals. One of the most crucial sales-linguistic skills is monitoring your prospect’s intonation. A few minutes into a sales meeting, when a prospect gets comfortable with you and relaxes, you should hear the prospect’s baseline intonation — his natural pitch, volume and cadence. Pay attention to changes in a prospect’s baseline intonation. Changes might indicate boredom, excitement or anxiety. If he begins talking louder or faster, it could mean he isn’t being completely truthful with you or is holding something back. Similarly, if his body language alters significantly, something is changing for your prospect internally. Great salespeople can identify this change and adapt before prospects talk themselves out of a sale. For years, salespeople have been taught to use a strategy called “mirroring and matching,” where you subtly align your body language with that of your prospect. This can build rapport with a prospect, since they will feel connected with you. The same principles hold true when it comes to language and speech. People process information using their sensory systems — taste, smell, touch, hearing and sight. This knowledge can play an important role in your sales conversation. For example, you will know your prospect is relying on sight if a prospect says, “I really like the way this looks.” Savvy sales professionals who recognize this might reply, “I often hear from our customers how delighted they are with the sleek design of our products.” By doing this, you’re validating the sensory mode the prospect is using to make a decision about buying from you. Make claims about your products or services without inviting your prospect to disagree by simply adjusting the way you phrase your statement. For example, if you run a medical practice and you’re trying to ask other physicians to refer more patients your way, you wouldn’t want to claim that you offer the best care in the city within your specialty, since that invites questions. Instead, you might explain that after referring patients to your practice, other physicians have received highly positive feedback from their patients. Better yet, tell them about a recent marketplace survey you’ve conducted citing that 95 percent of doctors who have referred to your practice report extremely high levels of satisfaction. Prospective buyers or influencers are unlikely to argue with what other people think, especially when those people aren’t around to argue back. Learning how to talk the talk in sales will help you deliver deeper prospect engagement and more closed sales.

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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