Today’s information-overloaded customers
Customers today have to digest more information than ever before. They can also find out anything, anywhere, at any time of the day or night and use the internet for information about products and services. Choice is endless and decision-making can be more complex.
To help manage the sheer amount of information they’re processing and the speed at which it happens, they ‘filter’ and ‘scan’ messages they read or hear, their attention is often minimised.
So how is it possible to get the attention of today’s information-overloaded customers?
There are many ways to do this, but key to all methods is understanding the power of language.
Words which evoke positive emotions
Each of the thousands of words stored in our subconscious has meaning for us. One word is often linked back to situations where we’ve heard that word before. It then has an association, either positive or negative. The use of a single word can therefore provoke a positive or negative emotional response.
The airline industry understands the powerful effect of each word on a passenger’s emotions.
For example: the pilot doesn’t use words such as: ‘We’ll try to get to 33,000 feet’, or ‘It’s the co-pilot’s first flight, so hopefully we’ll get there in one piece.
Every word used by the airline crew is carefully considered. This is because if there is just one negative word used, THAT is the word that passengers may dwell on. The crew are trained to use words which evoke feelings of confidence and reassurance.
So use words that will help the customer to feel the positive emotions that need to be in place for them to make a series of decisions. For example, words such as ‘giving you the reassurance that...’, ‘providing you with the peace of mind that...’ ‘so you can be confident in that...’
Words that work and words that don’t
Some words create doubt. For example; I hope, I’ll try, I’m afraid, not sure, can’t be certain, might be, should be, probably, maybe, if, just, but, the problem is, all I can do, the only thing, at some point. might be, possibly, try to, unfortunately, but, I’d have to, you’d have to, it can’t, it won’t. These words are likely to have a negative effect on the customer.
Words that convey certainty are: I CAN do, WILL do, I’ll find out, right away, immediately.
Using credible and ‘you focused’ words
Too many ‘superlatives’ are to be avoided. For example: fantastic, great, brilliant, amazing and super. When superlatives are overused, today’s customers often feel cynical.
These days, it’s far better to personalise the benefits for the individual customer. For example: Better for you, easier for you, quicker for you, better for you because, as it’s important for you, as you mentioned....
Words that access the subconscious
It’s often useful to help today’s busy customers to access their subconscious and instinct. This can be achieved by using some key words in questions e.g. What drew you to….What prompted you to….What led you to……How do you imagine you’ll…
Language of influence
So remember that the dialogue you use when you’re with a customer is a choice. Choose words that bring certainty, reassurance and which also engage the attention of today’s overwhelmed customers. Do this with authenticity and the customer will find it much easier to make the right decision.
The great thing about this concept is that when you hear yourself using positive language, this will have a positive effect on you too.
By Debbie Barrow, Managing Director of Virada Training. Award winning provider of training for businesses which sell to consumers on the phone, in shop, boutique or showroom or at the customer’s home. For information about the language of influence and sales training, contact Debbie.