The Magic Phrase Salespeople Want to Know

What Are They Saying?

In every sales organization there are those salespeople…you know the ones, they’re always on top of the leaderboard. They’re almost legendary and then there are the stories…. “how did she close that sale? That was an impossible situation and somehow he turned it around….I need to know what he’s saying.”

On today’s show discover:

  • … the magic phrase I learned after analyzing the sales presentations of a top salesman;
  • … the secret to turning those impossible situations around;
  • … and how you can close more sales and benefit from what I learned.

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The Customer Connection How to Build Customer Relationships

Build a Sincere Customer Connection

To make a purchase, customers need to trust you and that requires a connection. Learn how to build customer relationships, establish rapport and a sincere connection throughout the sales process. In the end, the trust and relationships you build will allow you to provide superior service and excel in sales.

Rapport Idea

One great way to begin establishing rapport is to find out where your customer is from and make a real and truthful connection. The best way to become comfortable and know how to build customer relationships is to practice.  Download “A New York State of Mind” and list a connection for each of the 50 states. How many can you make a “real” connection to?

Empathic Listening

Express Empathy and empathic listeningAnother important aspect of building and strengthening your customer’s connection is to express empathy and be a strong active listener. Again practice is required to master the art of listening and a great way to do it is to have a friend read you a story from the newspaper. As you listen, jot down key points so when they are done you can paraphrase, in your own words, what the story was about.

Additionally, express how you think the main characters in the story may be feeling. This is exactly what you can do with your customers to build your connection. Customers love to be heard and understood.

Supportive and Empowering Responses

supportive and empowering responsesWhen you respond in a supportive way, that empowers your customer you strengthen your rapport and connection. Help your customer make a good decision and applaud their efforts.

The Customer as Your Primary Focus

The big secret to being successful and knowing how to build customer relationships in sales is to have a sincere desire to help them. When your customer is your primary focus everything else will follow.

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What other things have you done to create a sincere connection with your customer? Share your comments below.

The Sales Process – Proven Steps to Success

The sales process describes a systematic and repeatable approach to selling a product or service.

While there are numerous reasons for having a well-thought-out sales process a few include:

  • seller and buyer risk management,
  • standardized customer experience during the sales interaction, and
  • scale-able revenue generation and
  • more consistent and repeatable success.

Approaching sales from a “process” point of view offers an opportunity to use design and improvement tools to further enhance the success of sales efforts. Tools like:

  • Scripts
  • Offers
  • Packages
  • Specials and promotions

The Sales Process is defined by five major steps, each with a specific goal that leads to a positive outcome.

C customer greeting  – Goal: make a great 1st impression and being to establish rapport

L listen to needs  – Goal: discover your customer’s needs and hot buttons (or the emotional reasons they want to resolve their primary need)

O offer benefits  – Goal: build value in the product by communicating personalized benefits.

S seize the sale  – Goal: Be assumtie and ask for the sale

E end with extras  – Goal: Maximize your opportunity and ensure your customer has everything they need by offering additional products and services.

For more on proven tips and strategies to increase your sales success and boost your career sign-up for our FREE KO Sales Coach Weekly Newsletter and GET….

9 Amazing Words to Boost Your Sales

Amazing Words

Sometimes, it’s not what you say….it’s how you say it. Isn’t that true in sales? I’ve heard too many salespeople, with the best intentions, dig themselves into a hole with a poor choice of words. It’s so important to be thoughtful and purposeful in the way you communicate with your customers

On today’s show discover:

  • …why it’s so important to choose your words carefully;
  • … the hidden meaning behind some common phrases that can land you in hot water;
  • …and 9 Powerful words and phrases you can use to boost your sales.

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Landing in Hot Water

Sometimes words and phrases can land you in hot water with your customer…and it has nothing to do with your intentions. Some people simply take offense and some words can trigger negative thoughts or emotions.  So the best way to avoid the hot water is to eliminate these words and phrases when talking with customers.

Words to Avoid

1 ) “Dear, Sweety, Honey, Hun”

Even if your intention is to be kind any of these words can sound very condescending. They’re also not appropriate in a professional sales environment. I’ve actually heard customers say things like “ I am not your honey, I am a professional business woman.” (and sales generally don’t follow a customer exchange like that).

2) “Sir or Mam”

Again, you’re intention may be to show respect however for many people “sir and mam” are trigger words that put them on the defense. It also does nothing to help you establish rapport. It makes you sound like you’re on the other side of the sales counter.

A better approach in both of these cases is to introduce yourself and then ask for your customer’s name. If they respond “My name is Bob” call them Bob. If they say I’m Mr. Smith call them Mr. Smith.

3) “In case there’s a problem”

If a salesperson has ever said something to you like “Great, let me get your phone number in case there’s a problem with your order.”

You may have thought. “What? Do you guys have lot’s of problems with orders? Maybe I should look elsewhere.”

While a customer might not come right out and say it, many times the words and phrases we use, communicate messages other than those we’re trying to get across.

This is a great example of a time when “less is more”. Rather than including “in case there’s a problem” or “in case we get disconnected” just ask for the number.

Words to Substitute

4) Use “And” instead of “But”

Did you know that the word but comes from an old English saying? Back in the day (like WAY back in the day) you may have met an English gentleman on the street who would engage you in conversation and at some point utter the phrase “behold the underlying truth”.

That’s a mouthful (especially if you consider how many times a day you currently use the word “BUT”) so the phrase was shortened to its’ initials B.U.T and eventually people just said but…..(it’s like an early version of LOL right?)

Generally, BUT means that I’m going to contradict what I said before. If you listen closely, chances are you’ll hear a lot of BUTS on the sales floor.

“I see what you’re saying but when we first starting talking…”

“I understand what you’re saying “BUT” I really don’t….”

“I see what you’re saying but I’m about to tell you why you’re wrong”

So what’s the better approach?

Either leave it out altogether or substitute  the word “and”. Here is an example of leaving it out…. “I see what you’re saying…. when we first started talking….” Here’s another example substituting “AND” “I see what you’re saying and when we first started talking….”

5) You’re Welcome instead of No Problem

These days it’s pretty common to respond to an expression of thanks or gratitude with the phrase ‘no problem,’. The problem with “no problem” is that when your customer says “Thank you for spending extra time explaining the guarantee to me. “ and you respond  “No Problem” it has negative connotations. It suggests that, under other circumstances, you would have been reluctant to grant the favor.

A better approach is to say “you’re welcome”. The phrase dignifies the other person’s gratitude and is another way of letting your customer know they are “worth it”. “Thank you for spending extra time explaining the guarantee to me. “ “You’re Welcome”

6) Most Affordable instead of Cheapest

Another substitution you can make that will have a dramatic impact on your sales is to use “Most Affordable” in place of “Cheapest”. When you say “this is the cheapest option we have” many customers will visualize a rickety old lawn chair that’s in danger of collapsing in a slight breeze. It’s cheap, poorly made and not worth anything.

By changing to  “this is the most affordable option we have” it sounds more positive and doesn’t devalue the product you’re selling.

Words to Add

7) Because

As you know, helping your customer answer the question “What’s in it for me” is vital to build value and close sales. When you use “because” you’re helping answer that question for your customer. This is a proven technique that’s been shown to increase the likelihood that customers will buy. In fact, the word “BECAUSE” is considered one of the five most persuasive words in the English language. “….it will reduce your pain almost immediately because it comes in a highly absorbable, liquid form…”

8) Tell me more about….

When you’re stuck for your next probing question or you simple want the customer to elaborate use “Tell me more about….”. This is a fantastic technique for buying you a little more time to formulate your next question while also encouraging the customer to open up and share more information about their needs, wants and expectations.

9) Imagine

When you ask your customer to “imagine” what it will be like to enjoy the benefits of your product you keep them engaged, and help them see themselves using and owning it. It’s the same reason car salesmen want you to test drive the car…they know you’ll imagine driving to work in it, going on a date in it, you’ll imagine owning it! Asking someone to go through the motions mentally can make them more likely to follow through with the sale.

Today’s One Two Punch:

Choose Your Words Carefully to Impact Your Sales

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You Had Me at Hello

One Chance to Make a First Impression

You only have one chance to make a first impression. And it’s really important in sales that the impression you make is a good one. People buy from people they like.

If you’re like me, you may have had the experience of going to a store to buy something you wanted only to leave without it because of a poor salesperson. Maybe they were rude, perhaps they seemed untrustworthy, maybe they were lacking knowledge. Whatever the case, you probably summed them up pretty quickly based on your first impression.  Customers make 80% of their buying decisions within the first 45 seconds of meeting you.

Did you know that customers make 80% of their buying decisions within the first 45 seconds of meeting you?

In sales, you’re not only selling the product you’re also selling yourself. Learning how to build your value so that customers will buy from you is as important, if not more important, then learning to build value in the product.

Make a Connection

There are several ways to build rapport. One of the most effective ways is to find common ground with someone. With a little practice, you can find common ground with virtually everyone. For example….

For example….

  • This person loves to knit ….. I’ve never done it but my mother makes some amazing things. (we both appreciate the art of knitting)
  • This person is a huge soccer fan…. I love downhill skiing  ( we’re both sports fans)
  • This person is from Ohio …. My roommate in college was from Ohio ( we both know people from Ohio)
  • This person collects socks from the Civil War …. Hey I’m wearing socks (we both like socks)

An easy way to quickly establish rapport on the phone is to ask the person where they are calling from. But what if you’ve never been there or don’t know anyone from there? How could you make a connection?

Here are two methods

Customer: “I’m from Idaho….”

Salesperson: “wow I have never been there…I’m from Maine have you ever been here?”

Method 1:If they say “Yes”  then you have a connection! You’ve both been to Maine

Method 2:If they say “No” then you have a connection! Neither of you has been to the state the other is from.

It may seem like a stretch, but it really doesn’t take much to find a connection and some common ground. It just takes a little practice. It is important to always be truthful in your connections. Don’t make something up. It can be discovered and will damage your rapport and trust immediately and irreversibly.


Mirror your customerAnother excellent way to build rapport is to mirror the customer. Most of us make a quick connection with other people who are similar to us. If we’re loud talkers and we run into someone who is also a loud talker we feel comfortable right away. On the other hand, if we’re a soft talker and we run into someone that’s a loud talker we can feel pretty uncomfortable.  One of the very best ways to connect and build rapport with your customer is to mirror them.

It’s important to note that mirroring is not imitating. Imitating could upset your customer and ruin your rapport. Mirroring is more like matching your customer’s communication style.

Some easy ways to mirror your customer….

  • Listen to their pace….are they fast or slow. Work to match your pace to theirs
  • Listen to their tone… are they loud or soft, high or low?
  • Listen to their phrasing…..if they say I’d like to look this over, using phrases back like “I see what you mean” helps make a connection.

If they say, “this sounds pretty good”, you might use a phrase like “I hear what you’re saying” Etc…


To be successful in sales you have to develop your ability to build personal trust and value . Rapport helps you build trust and you can make a connection with virtually any customer by finding common ground, mirroring and being personable. Remember that rapport is so important the outcome of most customer interactions can be made or lost in the first 45 seconds.