Customers and people in general love being given choices, but not too many. This is where one of the most powerful words in the sales language comes in, OR. That’s right, using this little two letter can not only improve your selling skills, it can improve your life. The word “or” can be the key to controlling a conversation as well as the entire sales process. It can also be the key in giving your customer the confidence they need to purchase from you. How could these two little letters be so powerful, you might ask? Let’s take a look.
Control the Outcome of Every Question You Ask
When you phrase questions the right way you can guarantee that you control the outcome. Yes, you read that correctly, you can GUARANTEE you get the answers that you want to every question. Think about one of the most common scenarios for anyone who has ever been in a relationship or is currently in a relationship: “What do you want to do for dinner?”
If you fall in one of the categories of being in a relationship or have ever been in one, you know exactly what I am talking about.
The conversation goes something like this:
You: “What do you want to do for dinner?”
Spouse: “I don’t care.”
You: “How about Chinese?” (Your first choice)
Spouse: “I don’t want Chinese, anything but that.”
You: “Ok, well what about pizza?” (Your second choice)
Spouse: “I don’t want that either.”
You: “Well what DO you want?”
Spouse: “I told you I don’t care.”
Now let’s look at how you can use the word “or” to get the answer you want.
You: “Do you want to have Chinese or Pizza for dinner?”
Spouse: “Pizza sounds good.”
So why does this work? The answer is actually quite simple:
- Uses the power of suggestion
- Gives them options to choose from that are both what you want
- People love options because it gives them the sense of being in control
- Either answer get you what you want
How to use “OR” to Sell More
Often when I suggest that salespeople should offer an alternative during the sales process, I get the following responses: “Why would I want to confuse my customer?” or “That is just going to confuse people.”
In actuality, when you offer a customer an alternative you are going to solidify the customer’s decision no matter which way they go. As mentioned earlier, people love options. They love having choices, it gives them a feeling of being in control. Additionally, the customer can use the options they were given to JUSTIFY the decision they are making.
Here is an example script that you can use to suggest an alternative that can help you confirm the right decision for your customer and close the deal:
You: “I understand that you want this Model X. However, would you consider a Model X that is less than a year old, has a few thousand miles on it, however it is in perfect condition, has a full factory warranty, and could save you about $4000 which could lower your payments by as much as a $100 a month. Would you consider that, or do you want to stick with the new Model X?”
Whatever response you get from your customer in the example you end up with the customer committing to one of the vehicles you suggested to them. If they choose the alternative vehicle then you switch them to and close them on this vehicle and if they choose the vehicle you have originally selected you close them on that one. Either way it is WIN-WIN and you have a sale.
You must learn how to ask questions that use the “or” to get the answers that you are looking for. This does not come easy but once you master this technique, you will be the one in control.