How Learning What to Say is Killing Your Sales Game


Need to find more room on your overflowing sales-driven bookshelf? There’s an idea for where to start that is incredibly obvious to the most successful salespeople – throw away any book you can find stressing ‘what to say to get the sale over the line’.

You’ll know the ones, they’ll likely have been gathering dust there for some time now. Their original print will have been from the 80’s or 90’s and they’ll be filled with page-long scripts promising a prescribed response from the apparently none-the-wiser prospect. Yep, those ones – they need to go.

Straight into the recycling along with last week’s newspapers and yesterday’s grease-stained pizza box. Understand now: They are as outdated as Myspace, Napster and Adam Sandler’s hope for an Oscar Award all rolled into one. The game has changed – the buyer needs to know more than ever that you are there for them more than anything else in that moment, and knowing the right words to say just isn’t going to be enough to exhibit that anymore.

How could it? Logically rehearsing words fails miserably in comparison to connecting emotionally with a human being in front of us when it comes to showing them that we genuinely care. Let’s lay it out in three, easy to understand keys:

1. If you are aiming to say the right things, then you are doing so in order to get something.

Lets face it, we are all aiming to get something at the end of the day. There is a secondary gain to practically every behaviour we engage in, but is it the driving force at the front of our mind with each prospect – or are we aiming to give first in the knowledge that we will also be handsomely taken care of as a result?

2. The market responds to those who show they are willing to give more than the last person they spoke to.

“Do you care about me as a person?” – this is the one key question your buyer is unconsciously asking themselves any given time. Coupled with “what’s in it for me” we are left with a buyer that needs to know you’re truly listening, paying attention and caring for their needs.

3. People can pick up a sense of giving from those that don’t make the process all about themselves, and if you’re trying to get it right you’re making it all about one person… yourself.

The key to how we actually show our buyer that we are someone to be trusted with their best intentions at the forefront of our mind is not by memorising a script – but noticing the patterns that make up their buying decisions. Aiming to memorise a script and ‘get it right’ is making it about ourselves. Understanding the patterns of why people are motivated to buy or not buy allows us to craft our curiosity for their needs in a way that has them feel completely taken care of

Instead of getting the line out, you are able to call the play two moves ahead and adjust accordingly. Instead of thinking about ‘what to say’, you are able to understand ‘how and why to say’ it. Instead of aiming to get, you are able to completely serve and receive in grateful fashion accordingly. So I trust by now you’ve added to your recycling contribution for the week and are quickly searching Amazon for the next installment teaching you not what to think but how to think. Your buyers sure hope that’s the case.

Darcy J Smyth is the creator and lead trainer of the Tonal Persuasion Method for Sales – a methodology designed to help you close sales without having to revert back to the Hard Sell that turns so many away in the modern business landscape – and become a persuasion master instead.