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Watch Your If’s, And’s and But’s or more ifs and ands and less buts

If – According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary means – in the event that and/or used as a function word to introduce an exclamation expressing a wish or you could substitute with whether.

And – A conjunction used to indicate connection or addition especially of items in the same class or type or to join words or phrases in the same grammatical rank or function 2. Used to join one finite verb to another so that together they are equivalent to an infinitive of purpose. e.g (come and see me)

But – can be used as a conjunction as in except for the fact or on the contrary. It can also be used  as a preposition meaning other than or with the exception of.

Ok now that I’ve completely lost your interest let me explain firstly that according to Associated Press and New World College Dictionary I should write Word’s as Word’s

Mr. Rewrite set me right on that one.

For our purposes in sales conversations how we use these words have paramount importance. When you have a potential customer or client give you the dreaded “No, I’m not interested in what you have to offer at this time.” You could simply reply with “Excellent, thanks for letting me know, I’m curious though… IF you were interested then when do you think would be the best time to take advantage of this deal? And I know most people that have come on board with us have been so happy and satisfied with their decision that they’re referring me to all their friends and family.”

When people say they don’t have time you could mention that you’re really busy too And when would be a more convenient time to get together? Then while they’re thinking you could say something like, “And you know my last client mentioned they didn’t have enough time and ended up grabbing my product because he/she realized how much more time they would save by making the investment now. And then they could invest more time in the things they’d rather be doing.”

There’s not much room for “but’s” in sales conversations mainly because it’s an excuse word, an end point, a contrarian word. Leading studies as well as common sense have shown likeabilty of the salesperson to be a major factor in decision making at all levels of sales in both business and personal transactions. And as we know it’s hard to be likeable if you’re always in debate mode. People get their backs up and put up more of a guard if they think their point of view is not valued or weighted properly.

The best and easiest way to  become likeable in conversation is to listen intently and paraphrase what the person has said. You can even take it to the next level and show appreciation of their point of view by adding additional supportive information to their comments. Even when it appears detrimental to do so.

eg. “My colleague say’s your customer service is terrible.” You could reply with something like, “tell me about it, I had a client that got so upset with our slow service that he sent us a bill for his waiting time on the phone and he was a lawyer. Man that really got us into gear and my boss made huge changes by revamping all our customer service protocols and now we’re getting rave reviews. I tell you what if this is a major concern of yours I will personally guarantee my time and commitment and give you my personal cell number where you can reach me 24/7 if need be. I’ve got a direct line to Tom in customer service and he’ll drop whatever he’s doing to solve your issues. I can’t really see it happening because our product/service is so awesome so this is just an additional guarantee from me to you.”

See there’s been no room for “buts” in all our conversation. “But wait a minute Dom your thinking, this can’t be true I use but’ all the time in my sales conversations and I’m a  sales genius.” Yes, and you know what? You could be making even more And don’t take my word for it, try it out and you’ll notice a subtle shift in the “feeling and flow” of your next conversation.

Notice the author wrote this whole article without the use of “But” (in the context of the sales conversations) and remember if you’re in a sales conversation and you’re about to say “But” try substituting “AND” instead.

Dominic Kotarski Author of “The Making” and Founder of Sales Success Academy

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Dominic Kotarski

Dominic Kotarski is an author, coach, sales trainer and Founder of Sales Success Academy. He's personally inspired, coached, trained and managed thousands of salespeople and business owners in 11 different countries. You can find him in Vancouver, Canada where he lives, works, runs, ski's and spends most of his free time with his family.

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