Jen Mueller, sideline reporter for the Seattle Seahawks had a quick conversation with Seahawks star quarterback Russell Wilson recently and shared a lesson for us all in sales about the power of the words we choose to use.
[youtube width="560" height="315"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjFvP-_JOZc[/youtube]
I can't imagine how much fun (and work) it must be for someone like Jen who often travels with the team and gets the most incredible viewpoint - from the side line of the field - to see the NFL in action. Jen also is considered America's Expert Talker and speaks with corporations about the power of communication internally for a company as well as with customers and prospective customers.
Let's be blunt. EVERYTIME you open your mouth, you have the opportunity to wow someone, or at the very least to sound competent and passionate about what it is that you sell or represent. You ALSO have the opportunity to blow it - to sound uninformed, confused, slow, rude, elitist, hurried, or wrong. So why is it that we, as sales professionals don't usually practice what we'll say when we finally get that Influencer or actual buyer on the phone?
When you are calling a prospect, how did you choose the "script" you are using?
Why are you so sure your voice mail message is bullet-proof? Have you tried other words and then measured the results both ways?
How come sellers don't take a scientific approach when it comes to the power of words?
When you spend so much of your day with a tool that can cut someone down in an instant with the wrong words, why do you not have a plan in place to help your words shine? To build on what is working better than other strategies?
Even when you don't open your mouth, your brain is selecting words for your next email message. What approach are you taking to better connect with the savvy buyer of today?
In addition to specific tips for voice mail success, you need a PLAN for how you will learn more powerful words to replace less powerful words in your messaging. For example, if I say in my voice mail to you:
It would be great to talk if you have a spare minute.
I can change that to sound stronger by replacing most of the words in this way:
Let's talk about this. I'm available on Thursday or Friday - I'll call again if you don't reach me first."
SEE the difference? HEAR the difference?
These simple "swap outs" of words for more powerful phrases WILL get your sales opportunities moved forward if you do two things.
1. Adopt the mindset that you are a student of communication and be open to reviewing your past work
2. Look at the emails you are sending out with an objective eye, or get other's opinions on word choices.
Read your work and ask, "is there a better way to phrase that?"
Especially in sales, "is there an easier way to phrase that?"
We'd love your thoughts on email, voice-mail and phone communication - what works for you and your company to build rapport?
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling.