As I was looking through my bookshelves for a particular reference, I came across my very first sales training book, How to Master the Art of Selling, by Tom Hopkins. I pulled it off the shelf and starting thumbing through it. I had gone to see Tom Hopkins speak and bought the book there. He even autographed it for me. I took that book home and studied it. I don’t know how many times I read it. Why? I wanted to master the art of sales. Even at the beginning of my career, I knew the key to success was being good at selling.
I haven’t changed my point of view in the decades since I read How to Master the Art of Selling. I’ve read other sales training books. I’ve gone to other sales training courses. But I find that I probably use more of Tom Hopkins ideas in how I sell day to day than anyone else. There are probably a number of reasons for this. But I think it’s because his ideas are easy to learn and easy to implement. That’s not to say they’re simple, just easy for you to say, “I can do this.”
For example, one of Tom’s key ideas is being aware of the language you use. Words can have a positive or negative impact, even seemingly innocuous words like deal or contract. Words trigger an emotional response. I’ve mentioned in this blog before that people buy based on emotions and justify with logic. By inadvertently using a word with negative emotions, you might kill the sale without ever knowing why. The first step is to stop using the word “deal.” Most of us think of it in the terms of a good deal. If the client has doubts about getting a good deal, they may back out of the sale and leave you hanging. A better word to use is opportunity. Opportunity connotes opening doors, new options. It’s filled with positive energy.
I’ve only talked about one word that can change the course of your sales. As a technology entrepreneur, you need to be aware of the words you and your sales team use. Are you moving clients along the process with your words, or turning them off? Use more positive words and you can increase the number of sales you close in record time.