The words you use in sales and marketing can have a big effect on the perception of your products and services. Here we discuss how sales professionals can utilise this to build value in what is being sold.

A shopkeeper was having difficulty selling some of his stock. Red tomatoes were selling really well, but his yellow tomatoes were slow sellers. Both colours were priced the same.

He knew that the yellow tomatoes had great taste and proved it by offering tasting sessions. People liked them but still didn’t buy. What should he do?
Other shops around discounted their yellow tomatoes. Still, their sales weren’t good.

Then, the shopkeeper had a creative idea.

He put a sign next to the yellow tomatoes that read “Gourmet! Organic! Low Acid!” He also increased the price by 50%.
Of course, those facts were true. And those facts were also true of the red tomatoes. Guess what happened?
Within a couple of hours, the yellow tomatoes were sold out!


The power of words to sell

What made the difference? Obviously, it was the fact that the product wasn’t being marketed effectively enough. The perceived value of the tomatoes was low in customers’ minds because they were used to tomatoes being red, not yellow. Customer conditioning meant that anything different was equated to ‘bad’ and so the sales of yellow tomatoes was low.

The creativity shown by the shopkeeper dug deep into the customer mindset by highlighting what was really important to them. And by increasing the price, he showed that people see a higher price as an indication of quality, differentiation and uniqueness. No doubt, people thought the yellow tomatoes also tasted better than the reds, because they were convinced that these gourmet, organic, low-acid products were better than the common red ones!

Those simple words were very effective.

Could you do the same when describing the products and services you sell?
Is there anything specific about your products or services that could increase the value of them, if the appropriate words were used?

The house you are selling could really be considered as a quality investment for the family’s future. The car you are offering can be thought of as an extension of the lifestyle of the individual that exudes style and achievement.


The words you choose should be:

• Specific to the product or service you provide
• Highlighting areas that are adding value to the product
• Not overtly over-the-top and ‘sales-oriented’
• Aimed at building desire in the prospect’s eyes

You have limitless creativity in how your words can build interest and desirability in your products and services. They need to appeal to the emotional connection you wish to build with the prospect. They have to be in harmony with what prospects value in your products. And they need to give you the leading edge in the way your products are perceived.
By doing this, you connect quality, value and desire in the prospect’s mind, allowing you to highlight how you are better than the competition without losing integrity or honesty. So, think of how your words can make an impact on the viewpoint your prospects have of you, the products you sell, and your company.


Author Credit: As a sales expert, Sean McPheat is asked to help businesses to improve their sales through consulting, coaching or training. He is also the managing director of MTD Sales Training, the internationally renowned sales improvement firm where he leads a team of 25 sales trainers who have delivered sales solutions to over 50,000 staff. Follow Sean online here.


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