There’s a lot that can go wrong over the course of your sales pitch. Your own speaking habits make up one of those factors. For example, the phrase, "As you can see…" is both boring and lazy. Why? Because it's stereotypical and you're asking your prospects to do your work for you by drawing conclusions that you should be giving them yourself. If you combine that phrase with bad speaking habits, you're setting your pitch up for failure. Here are three ways you could be speaking that have the potential to drive your clients away and how to fix them with help from Danny Wong and his article, “Five Vocal Habits You Can Eliminate to Win More Conversations.”
The "As You Can See"s of Speaking
- Having a Set Customer Service Voice
From our first jobs in retail and food service, we’ve been taught to always have a chipper voice when interacting with customers. As long as you're excited about what you're selling, people will give it more thought, even if your sales pitch falls short, right? However, this habit often makes us come across as fake as the smiles that accompany that too-high tone of voice. A lazily worded pitch (like "As you can see…") is still a lazily worded pitch, no matter how happy you sound while delivering it. What makes you sound credible and trustworthy is when you’re using your own voice that has the ability to change tones depending on the situation. You don’t want to sound overly happy when discussing your potential client’s problems, and a fake-sounding voice can distract the client from your pitch. Just be yourself and use your natural voice. And let your pitch's wording develop with the sale. Don't rely on scripted words.
Talking at your clients instead of with them is one of the least effective ways to make a sale. "As you can see, yada yada yada." Don't tell your clients what they see, ask them what they see. However, too many salespeople don’t realize that, even though they’re working in questions, they’re not letting the client answer them. When researching the client, you probably came across information that you believe could be the answers to the questions you’re asking. So, to sound informed, you may begin answering your own questions before your client has the chance. Not only are you monopolizing the conversation by doing that, your interruptions are making you come across as rude. Make sure you’re letting your pitch be engaging by allowing the client time to speak.
- Speaking Passively
When you’re making a sales pitch, you’re communicating how much better and bright the client’s future could be with the help of your product or service. So, why are you speaking passively? Yes, there is a place for it when comparing the client’s situation with one you have solved for a similar client in the past, but speaking in the past tense has a tendency to discourage your client’s motivation. Wong gives the example of, “We discovered our platform can increase open rates by 75 percent.” Change that to, “Our research shows that we can increase your open rates by 75 percent.” Keep the conversation moving forward by talking in present and future tense.