Ever wondered why a prospect didn’t buy?
I bet you’re a lot like me and have had dozens of sales calls in which you couldn’t put a finger on what went wrong.
There are countless factors that play into a lost sale but only a few that you have full control over.
In the case of rejection, most people’s reaction is to blame factors outside of their control. However, this response inhibits your growth and ultimately leads to frustration.
The good news is, you’re probably open minded enough to agree that there is always something we can improve to tip the scales in our favor. This is all well and good but the problem remains, we can’t improve something we’re unaware of…
Great… what do you mean?
It’s great because you know there’s an unknown. Without this awareness, you wouldn’t have even thought of looking for help.
Fortunately, there are already people out there who have solved the equation and can point you in the right direction.
Less than a year ago a video was released to Youtube detailing advanced sales strategies used by a world renown SEO, Kotton Grammer.
Kotton has closed over 5000 clients in the past decade and has grown his agency to 7-figures in revenue.
At first, this video was only meant for members of his private consulting course ($2000). However, Kotton decided to release this information to the public for the greater good of the marketing community. This video reveals exact phrasing Kotton has used to increase sales conversions by more than 30% in his agency.
We found this video to be invaluable! So much so, that we decided to take notes…
Below, you’ll find all the major points and phrases Kotton covers in his training listed out in chronological order.
Further, each section is listed with a timestamp to better help you navigate the original video linked at the bottom of this article.
Intro to Client Seduction
Kotton coins the phrase client seduction as the art of using simple words to influence the state of conversion.
The phrases you use in a conversation have a huge impact on the buying temperature of a prospect.
A simple change in wording can spell the difference between a person being in a state of resistance or agreeance. For this reason, Kotton stresses the awareness of wording and how it affects people’s buying behaviors.
Of course, these phrases can be used at any stage of a sales cycle and through any medium. The psychology of what we’re discussing doesn’t change whether you’re selling over the phone or email.
I’m not sure if this is for you, but… (7:26 – 9:50)
Stress induces fight or flight mechanisms in humans. Knowing this, it’s important to lower stress levels as much as possible while in sales conversations; otherwise, people will metaphorically fighting or running away from your ideas
Over the years, people have been programmed to be especially resistant to sales people. This bad reputation is mostly thanks to unempathetic sales reps only interested in making a sale.
You can immediately differentiate from these bad seeds by showing the prospect you care about their business more than making the sale. You can subtly indicate this belief by stating that you are unsure if your services are even for them. This statement lowers the prospect’s stress levels because they now no longer need to worry about having a combative sales conversation.
Open Minded (9:57 – 11:39)
Are you open minded?
Yes, of course you are! It’s rare that anyone would ever answer no to this question.
We all want to believe we’re open minded people. Play to this belief by prefacing your own ideas with the fact that the person is probably open minded. This will create internal micro yesses in the prospects’ minds and make them more likely to act in accordance with the ideas you present to them.
“Jim, I’m sure you’re open minded about new ways to bring in clients to your business…”
“I’m sure you’re open minded about taking over your competitors…”
Once a person agrees to a statement about themselves, they’ll want to act consistently with that self belief. This is what’s known as consistency bias in psychology.
What Do You Know? (11:40 – 14:54)
It’s not uncommon to talk with a business owner who thinks they have everything figured out. This belief can be blatantly obvious or leak out in subtle statements throughout the conversation. In either case, you’ll want to shift the perception of expertise back on to yourself.
You can re-confirm your status as the expert by introducing an unknown piece of information into the conversation.
Bluntly ask the client, “what do you know about X?”
Tell me, what do you know about Schiester and Lewis?
This puts the prospect on their heels (assuming they don’t know about the thing you brought up) and forces them to ask you for more information (subtly framing you as an expert).
Then, go into a story about how this company went from the same spot as the prospect in the search results and eventually decided to invest in SEO. Tell about how the company dominated the first page results, significant increased revenue, and out-competed their competition.
All of this reminds the prospect that you are the one with the war stories and sets you up as the authority figure in the conversation.
How Would You Feel? (14:55 – 18:50)
Scientists have confirmed there is very little difference between imagination and direct experience.
Prompting people to imagine certain emotions and situations puts them in the same state as if they actually were experiencing the thing itself.
Therefore, you can influence people’s current emotions and beliefs by simply using the hypothetical phrase, “how would you feel if?”
You can use this statement, as well as variations, to induce positive emotions that pull the client to action…
“How would you feel if you were to get an additional 54 clients just by implementing SEO?
“Just imagine if you were to get another 75 clients and you were able to open up that other location…”
Or, you can create negative emotions to push the client away from certain behaviors…
“How would you feel if you could never catch your competitors?”
When Would Be A Good Time? (20:02 – 21:14)
Most people are naturally inclined to give an answer when asked a question.
When looking to schedule something, use open ended questions such as, “when would be a good time?” rather than questions that result in ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.
The open-ended question makes it socially awkward for the prospect to reject your request. Most people will be resistant to answer your question with the response, “no time.”
I’m guessing you have not got around to it, but… (21:15 – 24:17)
No one wants to feel guilty or embarrassed. Yet, we create this feeling in the prospect (subtly) whenever we follow-up and ask if they had a chance to check out a proposal, read an email, talk with their partner, etc.
From now on, assume they are busy and make the excuse for them.
“Hey Jim! Just following back up with you. I’m guessing you haven’t gotten around to looking at the proposal. I know you’re incredibly busy…”
What Questions Do You Have For Me? (24:19 – 26:38)
Again, reduce any portion of your sales where the client may feel guilty. Another common situation when this happens is when you ask if they have any questions for you.
Don’t phrase your question in a way that expects them to have questions because if they don’t this will create slight tension.
Instead of ending your pitch with, “Well, that’s SEO! I’m sure you got some questions for me…” end instead with, “what questions do you have for me?”
What Is The Best Way To Contact You? (26:39-28:09 )
Once again, don’t ask ‘yes no’ style questions and instead ask, “what is the best way to contact you?”
This simple, open-ended question assumes the answer is yes.
You Have Three Options (28:11 – 30:22)
Some conversations feel like there is a wall of resistance you’re attempting to push through.
In situations where you feel stuck you can usually build progress by presenting options to the business owner.
Humans have a deep need for autonomy so knowing there are options puts a person at ease.
“It looks to me like you have 3 options at this point. You could do nothing and continue getting the results you’re currently getting. Second, you could try a different form of marketing and see it that performs better for you. Or, the third option is that you can begin ranking your site and see for yourself once you start getting customers from it”
There Are Two Types Of People (30:37 – 31:55)
Humans are extremely group oriented creatures. We always want to belong to a group AND generally see ourselves in a positive light. These two things being the case, we’ll tend to associate more with groups that have positive characteristics.
You can use this natural tendency of the brain by framing situations in black and white.
There are two types of people: the good group (representing the behavior/characteristic you want the client to identify with) and the bad group (the behavior/quality you don’t want the client to identify with).
“You know Mr. Business Owner, there are generally two types of people. There’s the group of individuals who remain in the status-quo and hope customers keep coming in. Then there’s the other type that understand industries are always changing and are willing to change with it. These types are always on the cutting edge of marketing and because of this are constantly ahead of their competition and never hope for but generate customers for their business.”
I Bet You Are A Lot Like Me (31:58 – 32:50)
One of the essential beliefs you want your prospect to have is that you are just like them.
You can easily build agreeance by prefacing ideas with, “I bet you’re a lot like me.”
“You know what, I bet you guys are just like me… you wanna get right down to it and start making money.”
Don’t Worry (33:02 – 34:52)
It’s so simple but you can instantly quell anxiety by sprinkling in the phrase, “don’t worry”, in areas of your conversation that address common objections.
“Hey Brian, don’t worry. I’ve handled businesses just like yours for the last five years. You’re in great hands! We’ve had a tremendous amount of success bringing in new clients almost a complete mirror to your own.”
Most People (34:53 – 38:43)
A large portion of our decision making faculty is centered on what others are doing. Humans are social animals. Adherence to group behavior is built into our hardwiring to ensure survival. Doing what others are doing is not only safer but also easier. The brain defaults to group behavior because it requires less energy to do so.
Think about it, have you ever been asked to make a decision and just resorted to what most people were doing/choosing?
You’re probably a lot like me and will often ask waiters, “what do most people like?” or “what is your favorite meal on the menu?” The good waiters know this already, consciously or unconsciously, and will flat-out tell you without needing to be asked.
“Ma’am, most people are ordering this smoked salmon. It is absolutely amazing if you’re a fish lover and most people that don’t like fish are going with our filet mignon tonight.”
Do the same thing in your sales.
“Hey Brian, most people are investing in ___ because they know the markets moving in this direction. I’d suggest doing ___ as this is what we’ve done with most of my clients and they’ve some got exceptional results because of it.”
Good News (39:08 – 41:23)
The human brain is constantly scanning the environment for signs of threats or opportunities. This mechanism is what makes so many people addicted to social media, their phones, and email. These mediums offer a constant stream of new information that can possibly help or harm us. For this reason, our attention naturally shifts to these things.
You can leverage the phrase, “good news” as a pattern interrupt that forces the prospect’s attention away from their present thoughts and on to the new ideas you want them to focus on.
Additionally, you can enhance the effects of a pattern disrupt by clapping your hands right before the phrase.
“Hey, *single clap* good news Jim! Don’t worry, we’ve handled businesses just like yours.”
That’s Great (41:25 – 43:31)
There’s a certain set of responses most people expect whenever they make a statement. When the responds falls outside this range of expectations, it comes as a shock.
You can interrupt negative thought patterns (objections) by stating the opposite of what people expect to hear.
Client: “You know what, I’ve just been burned before…”
You: “That’s great!”
Client: “What do you mean that’s great?!”
You: “Well, ya know, I’m sure that like most people you’re very open-minded and realize…”
Here Is What Happens Next (44:55 – 46:25)
Thoughts of the unknown can cause anxiety in humans.
We’re so used to the process of SEO that we tend to forget that the industry is a foreign language to a large majority of local businesses.
Make sure to clearly state the details of your process from the moment the client pays in order to reduce the anxiety they have around investing in something they don’t understand.
“So here’s what’s going to happen next. What I’m going to do is send a link over to you for you to click, that’ll direct you to an invoice. We’ll be able to get started right away once you make payment. We’ll then set up an on-boarding call with you to get all the details needed. From there, we’ll…what’s the best email for me to send you this link?”
What Makes You Say That? (46:26 – 48:50)
One of the simplest and best ways to counter an objection is to have the prospect elaborate.
Client: “You know what, I just don’t believe it. My website just doesn’t work, that’s not how I get my customers, I just think it’s a waste of money.”
You: “What makes you say that?”
This question will illicit deep beliefs within the individual for which you’ll eventually have to address and overcome.
Before You Make Up Your Mind (48:53 – 49:33)
Once again, take the pressure off of the individual by ensuring them that there is no rush to make a decision at the moment.
This statement is a great segway into a pattern interrupt such as…
“You know, before you make up your mind, *claps*, I’ve got some great news!”
If I Can, Will You (49:34 – 54:01)
The reciprocity tendency in our brains causes humans to feel obligated to return the favor whenever someone does something nice for us.
There’s multiple situations in which you can do favors for the client but the most obvious is in discounts.
Kotton generally prices his services $500 more than what he expects so he can “do the client a favor” and give a discount.
Client: “5,500 dollars?! That’s just too much!”
You: “Well ya know, if I can save you 3,000 dollars, would you move forward today?”
Client: “3,000 dollars?”
You: “Yea, I’ll shave off 500 dollars over the next six months, comes out to about 3,000 dollars. If I can do that for you today, will you jump on and get started?”
You: “Here’s what we’ll do next…”
Enough (54:03 – 56:20)
A quick way to judge prospect’s expectations, beliefs, and capacity is to ask them, “what is enough.”
You: “How many new clients is enough for you?”
Client: “Oh, if we could get in another 50 clients a month, that would be enough.”
Just One More Thing (56:21 – 57:51)
It should be your goal to continually amp the prospect’s emotions throughout the sales conversation.
We judge the amplitude of our current emotions relative to the previous state we were in.
The person who moves from a1 – b1 during a conversation will likely feel relatively better than the person who moves from a2 – b2. This is because the first person experienced a larger positive change in emotions than the second person, despite starting off and ending at a lower emotional state.
The same effects works with perceived value of your services. Always start off by pitching with as little information as possible. Then, expand their range of perceived value using the transitional phrase, “just one more thing.”
“Just one more thing I forgot to tell you! I have another piece of information I think you’ll love to hear…
Just Out Of Curiosity (57:54 – 58:29)
How would you feel if some stranger came up to you on the street and begin probing you personal questions about your life and business?
It would feel weird!
This is how prospects must feel when we jump too fast and deep into qualifying questions. Pay special attention to your tonality during the qualification portion of a sales conversation. The aim is for your tone to convey, “it’s no big deal.”
It turns out you can also soften your questions by prefacing some of your more probing inquiries with the phrase, “just out of curiosity.”
“Just out of curiosity, how many new customers a month would be enough for you?”
A Favor (58:30 – 58:58)
Humans are wired to crave approval. For this reason, most people are happy to provide small favors for the fear that not doing so will cause them to be unliked.
Make it a habit of “asking for favors” throughout your conversation to create the perception that the prospect wants to be liked by you.
“Hey Jim, I know you’re open minded so could you do me a favor and just take a look at the link I sent you…. you’ll see that most people…”
Kotton Grammer’s SEO Sales Video
The Finish Line
By now, you may have already spotted some areas in which you can improve your own sales pitch.
You now have a list of extremely powerful sales phrases so the next step for you is to begin internalizing each one.
Similar to what I’ve done in this article, start by sprinkling in these phrases to your everyday conversations until using them becomes a habit.
Just one more thing before running off!
Do us a favor and continue sharing this information with the community. Make sure to share this post with your friends and family so they too can improve their sales and change their lives.
Until next time,