No Magic Words

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I ran across a sales and marketing article recently called The Ultimate List of Words That Sell. There is a good bit to like in their thinking though, as usual, I have opinions about these things. Most notably, there are no magic words that sell; these words are not a kind of pixie dust that magically closes a deal.

But there are ways to improve your communication and make people more inclined to do business with you. Rather than think about magic words, I find it helpful to think about your communication in terms of:

  1. Point of view. Keep everything focused on the prospect’s point of view. This is the single most violated rule in business. Companies love to talk to themselves in their sales and marketing efforts. Instead, ask how does anything you have to say affect your prospect personally and their business? One thing is certain, while you’re talking (or writing), your prospect is asking, “what’s in it for me?” If you aren’t answering that question, you will lose their attention and their business.
  2. Helping not selling. My one niggle with the article linked above is it drifts into the realm of manipulation, not helping. People are way to savvy and they simply won’t be manipulated. In fact, they resent any efforts to try. Keep your communication focused on helping; how are you improving their business, their job, their life? 
  3. Show don’t tell. Don’t make promises. Show how you’ve helped other businesses facing the same problems. Show how your product or service fulfills point #2. With all marketing communication, people are not quick to believe what you say. But prove your promises through action and you greatly enhance your chances to adding a new customer.
  4. Tell stories. There is little doubt that people remember stories better than they remember facts and figures. Stories are the ultimate show-don’t-tell, and if people see themselves in the stories you tell, then their connection to you will be stronger.

I don’t believe in magic words. As a writer, I do believe the right words are essential, but using these words alone is not enough.

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