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August 6, 2019

Do you speak the “language of sales?”

We’re two weeks into the inaugural 3-week Seller-Doer Workshop… and with 30+ participants, I couldn’t be more pleased (or grateful).

In these first two weeks, we’ve covered a number of topics related to general selling philosophies, acquiring new clients and maintaining & growing existing clients. But the one topic that seems to have generated the most group discussion is the “language of sales.”

That is, those who are most successful at business development speak in a way that really resonates with prospective buyers. And they’re good at this because they get deeper than surface comments… they understand what’s going on inside the head of these prospects.

The fact is, buyers don’t really care about what you can do… they care about what you can do for them! With everything you say, the buyer is asking themselves “So what? What’s in it for me?”… and if you aren’t answering that question in a meaningful way, the sale will never happen.

…which means…

To be successful with the language of sales, one of the things you will need to master is the use of the phrase, “which means.” It helps potential buyers see how what you do can be important to them.

As an example, for Harpeth Marketing, I might say to a prospective client that “we specialize in the Market Research industry.” In their mind, the buyer is asking, “So what? What’s in it for me?” Then I complete the sentence with, “… which means that we don’t have to spend any time learning your industry… we can hit the ground running.” A clear benefit for the buyer.

Here’s an example from the Market Research industry… a qualitative research shop might say to a prospective buyer, “We’re qualitative research specialists. We’re experts in more than 15 different qualitative methodologies.” [So what?] “… which means that we won’t pigeon-hole you into a particular methodology because that’s all we know; we can select the one that’s best for you and your project.” Again, a very clear benefit for the buyer.

Now it’s your turn…

Step 1: Write down 4-5 key features of your business, primary service or product.

Step 2: Then, write down a “which means” benefit for each of those features.

Get comfortable using the language of sales in 1-on-1 conversations, during capabilities presentations and even on your website. Do that, and you’ll start to see buyers perking up as they begin to understand “what IS in it for them.”

And if you’d really like to work on the language of sales and your other selling skills, join us this Fall for Cohort #2 of the Seller-Doer Workshop. Dates/times will be announced soon. To receive an email when the dates are released, contact us at


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