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Aug 05

You--A Key Word

Posted by: Steve Marr

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When working with customers, one way to guide them to decide to purchase your product or service is to incorporate the word, you, into your pitch.  It is a pointed and personal way to help your customer put themselves into the picture.

I was working with a company selling high end backyard hardscapes such as swimming pools, outdoor kitchens and hot tubs. Part of my coaching was to encourage salespersons to incorporate the word you aggressively into their presentations. For example:  Would you like to see your kids, or grandkids, playing in this pool? Do you believe this outdoor kitchen would allow you to entertain in your backyard? Do you see yourself soaking in the hot tub after a hard day at work? 


When we use the you-word, we help the customer see two things. First the customer subtly picks up that we are focused on them rather than on our product or ourselves. We always need to find out what is important to the customer and then help them see themselves enjoying the product or service in a positive way that meets a need or solves a problem.  

Most of us tend to be self-centered.  We like to think about lifestyle enhancements that backyard upgrades bring. The effective salesperson will help the customer understand the benefits of enjoying their kids playing in the pool or seeing themselves as a master chef cooking great barbecue for family and friends.

Some of our sales efforts are easy.  A plumber who takes a call on the Fourth of July because a toilet has backed up doesn’t have to make the customer see the benefits of getting it fixed.   All the plumber needs to do is get the homeowner to agree to his work so he can head to their house and unclog the overflowing commode.

I recently sent a proposal to a prospective client. In the equivalent of one page, I used the word you nine ways. Here are three examples:

  • Our process will ease your burden . . . 
  • Our process will create a custom plan for you . . . 
  • Should you not be satisfied, we will grant you a full refund.

Customers don’t care that you need the sale.  They don’t worry about what works for you as the salesperson. What they care about is what they receive and what the product or service will do for them. This is why staying focused on the you is wise.

Paul wrote, “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” (1 Corinthians 10:24, NIV) As humans we have a tendency to stay focused on what we need.  However, as scripture provides guidance; we need to focus on what’s best for the customer. Using the you-word frequently helps guide a customer into a process where meeting their need is the focus. Remember, a sales presentation is not what you want to say; it’s what the customer needs and wants to hear.

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