This is going to be a tough pill so buckle up.
Prospects are afraid of you.
They’re afraid you’re going to talk them into buying.
The problem is the word “into.” People enter the Zone of Resistance (ZOR) whenever they feel they’re being talked into buying.
The ZOR is a reflex reaction to sales pressure. Since pressure is perceived as a threat, it triggers the fight or flight response.
So your first job when starting conversions with prospects isn’t to persuade. It’s to lower the ZOR.
Here are 8 language patterns that lower the ZOR.
Pattern 1: “Help me out for a brief moment.”
Humans are hard-wired to help. This could have happened during human evolution when people were forced to cooperate in hunting.
Example: “Hi James. My name is Josh. We’ve never spoken and I know you weren’t expecting my call, but I was hoping you could help me out for a brief moment.”
Pattern 2: “Would that be okay?”
When you give people the freedom to choose, you lower resistance. The opposite is also true.
Example: “Hi Pete. My name is Josh with X. We’ve never spoken, but I was on your LinkedIn and was hoping I could ask you a couple of quick questions. Would that be okay?”
Pattern 3: “Might”
“We can 5X your conversion rates.” “We can increase your sales.” “Can” suggests certainty. Prospects are skeptical of salespeople that promise the moon and the stars. “Might” is used to describe what’s possible. There are always risks. Further “might” suggest you’re giving the other person freedom to choose. Autonomy lowers resistance.
Example: “Seem like this might be worth exploring.”
Patter 4: “Would it make sense….”
Similar to pattern 2. When you give people the freedom to choose, you lower resistance.
“Would it make sense for you to invest 20 minutes later this week so you can review what your options are?”
Pattern 5: “How are you ….”
“How are you …” is a great phrase to make prospects think differently about their current solution without coming across as pushy.
Example: “Many podcast creators we work with use 2-3 tools like Logic, Headliner, and Zubtitle to edit and promote episodes. How are you editing & promoting your episodes?”
Pattern 6: “No problem.”
“No problem,” subconsciously says. “There’s no pressure or concern here.”
Prospects “Send me some information.”
You: “No problem. What’s your email address?” Then “So I don’t do you a disservice, would it be okay if I asked you a couple of quick questions so I can send information that’s relevant?”
Pattern 7: “Seems like you have some concerns.”
This language pattern is great because it allows prospects to share what’s holding them back. Chris Voss calls this labeling. If you mislabel, prospects will correct you. People like correcting, but they don’t like being corrected.
Pattern 8: “I’m not sure.”
This phrase secretly tells prospects you’re putting they’re best interest first.
Example: “Since I don’t know anything about your situation, I’m not sure we’re a fit. Can I ask you a few questions?’