Sales Coaching Tip – Prospect Semantics

Sales Coaching Tip – Prospect Semantics

“It’s just semantics.”

Some may say this is true in an average conversation. But in sales, semantics can make the business difference of either making or breaking the sale.

Not all word meaning is universal. In fact, the meaning of many words is personal. The challenge for salespeople is distinguishing which is which.

With this in mind, it is good sales coaching practice to coach your salespeople to ask prospects what they mean by the pivotal words they use. This helps your team members avoid the kinds of word assumptions that often lead to miscommunication and lost sales.

What might that look like in a conversation?

If prospects complain about their limited budget, coach your team members to avoid assuming what their budget is. Instead encourage your salespeople to ask something like, “What is your budget?”

If prospects talk about their Q2 deadline, help your salespeople ask questions like, “What date is the deadline?”

If prospects share that they are frustrated by ____________, coach your team members to inquire with questions like, “What is it about ___________________ that frustrates you?”

These kinds of semantic clarification questions can help your salespeople get more specifics in their sales conversations.

During your sales coaching sessions with your team, examine alternative questions your salespeople can ask to gain more insight into prospect semantics. This will lead to your team having more valuable sales conversations that result in greater sales.

Who on your team is making assumptions about what prospects mean?

What can you ask your people to clarify the assumptions they made about their prospects’ semantics?

What are you going to ask your team members to help them discover what prospects mean by the words they used?

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