Risk-​Reversal Language Can Boost Win Rates

BY Jessica Helinski
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Buyer anxiety can strike at any time during the sales process. But, it’s most likely to pop up during the late stages. Believe it or not, what you say can have a big influence on dissipating that anxiety. Specifically, it’s the risk-​reversal language you use that has the most impact. “Defined, risk-​reversal is any strategy that reduces or eliminates the actual or perceived risk that a potential customer has about investing in your product/​service,” explains Chris Orlob in a Sales & Marketing Management article. By thoughtfully adding “risk-​reversal language,” you can calm any anxiety and nudge the buyer closer to making the deal.

Speaking about specials, offers, exclusives, and other deal terms can boost your closes. Examples of these include:

  • Easy cancellations
  • 90-​day opt-outs
  • Quick and easy implementation or setup
  • No long-​term contracts
  • SLAs (service level agreements)
  • Money-​back guarantees

Mentioning these, according to research from Orlob’s company Gong​.io, can drive win rates by 32 percent. But, use them sparingly. Interestingly enough, Orlob reports that when any of these terms were used four or more times during a conversation, close rates actually dropped one percent! Why? “How something works is secondary to why a prospect needs it,” he explains. “When more time is spent on the how than on the why, the prospect tunes out.”

So the takeaway is that if you sense buyer anxiety creeping in as the sales process nears the end, consider using a risk-​reversal term to calm any doubts. There’s a good chance that it will help you land the deal; just remember to use it in moderation.