No Ifs, Ands or Buts About It

No Ifs, Ands or Buts About It

Using the word if as part of a sales presentation is an absolute no-no because it sends the message to a client or prospect that they don’t know something. For example, if your sales professional proposed the following, “If your new housing project is going to sell quickly, the perfect solution for your bath is to depend on our ability to source products and deliver them on time and within budget.”

Why would a developer not believe that his or her project is going to sell quickly? When the sales pitch is prefaced with an if question, most likely the buyer will tune out everything else that follows.

In a recent blog, HubSpot offered four guidelines for eliminating if from sales presentations. Rule one is replace if with when. You can use when to your advantage especially if your team prepares up front. Go to the company’s webpage and find out the company’s mission and determine what senior leaders believe is important and what the company is most proud of. Check out the company’s postings on Pinterest, Houzz, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media pages. Researching potential clients makes a lot of sense.

Substituting when for if sends the message that you are trying to help solve your clients project. If your project requires X type of fixtures to meet the needs of your project is better stated as When you project requires X type of fixtures to meet the needs of your project, we can supply them on time and within budget.

Accessing public records may not tell you what causes your prospect the most pain and guessing is never a good strategy. However, by asking your prospect, “What have been your biggest challenges in sourcing cabinets for your projects? This sends the message that you are trying to solve your prospect’s biggest problems.

Follow up questions to help identify other pain points include, “How does your company stage deliveries to the site?” “Does your company get frustrated when products are not installed properly?” You and your sales teams know the problems that plague projects. When you get your prospect to admit them, you are in an ideal position to offer a solution.

Another common mistake many sales professionals make it to compare your products and services to competitors. Statements such as “If you like showroom A’s services, you are going to love what we can do for you.” If your prospect has a good relationship with showroom A, the chances that you are going to get them to change to you is slim. Instead, promote your competitive advantages and distinctive competencies without mentioning competitors’ names.

Finally, ask what you can do to help, make their lives easier, save time or bring more value to the project. Using these phrases also demonstrate that you want to solve their problems and be a trusted advisor.


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