The Sales Phrase Insulting your Buyers

Imagine you work in a fast-paced tech startup and your team needs a new automation tool. Commence full-on buying mode! You check out all the top vendors, set up some demos, and begin doing your due diligence.

You’re well into your third demo when when it hits you: all of these sales reps keep pausing to ask you the same question. You answer them politely, but in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “why do all these salespeople think that I might not understand them?”.

The question they’re asking is the seemingly innocuous: “does that make sense?”.

Sounds pretty innocent, no? Sales rep just wants to make sure they don’t need to clarify. But they’re asking it in a way that questions your ability to comprehend instead of their ability to explain.

It’s always felt uncomfortable to me connecting with highly successful business leaders and asking them this question. It feels needlessly patronizing. So I wondered if there were any better alternatives. Turns out, there are several! Here are some of my favorites to use.

Did I explain that alright?

This question flips the script and puts the onus on your ability to explain instead of your buyer’s ability to comprehend.

What do you think?

I love this option because it’s an open-ended question. That means your buyer can’t answer with a dismissive ‘yes’ or ‘no’, which in turn, will tell you a whole lot more about how much they just absorbed.

Any feedback on this?

This question is actually a 2-parter. Not only are you asking whether they have feedback, but you’re also implying you’d like to hear what it is.

Do you feel like this fits with your use case?

I love using this question for software demos. It goes beyond checking comprehension to ask about relevance. The answer may surprise you and completely change the direction of your meeting.

How do you think that could work with your goal of [insert goal]?

Another sturdy option to align yourself with your buyer’s priorities.

What are your questions on this?

This one’s an alternative to ‘what is your feedback?’. The reason I like this question is that it assumes that your buyer has questions for you. When you ask this, you might hear a pause while your buyer processes what’s being asked of them. If the pause is too long, that’s a sign you were talking too much and your buyer has zoned out.

Learn to Write Copy that Converts

©2020 Farren Neu


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