A change of wording typically results in you gaining that response or an answer to your question.
Using a simple technique, I am going to provide two pieces of magic in one short section. The psychology behind this technique, which involves turning an open question into a closed one, results in you receiving a guaranteed outcome or answer.
It came to me, first of all, from trying to prevent a giant mistake I see so many people make when they reach the end of a sales presentation.
Following many a presentation, the question people reach for is, “Do you have any questions?” Asking this creates the subconscious suggestion that the other person should have questions, and if they don’t, it makes them feel peculiar and perhaps even a little stupid. This encourages them to leave the decision-making conversation and go away to think about it.
A simple change of wording puts you in control. Swap the phrase, “Do you have any questions?” with the improved, “What questions do you have for me?” The minute you assume an outcome, the easiest response for them to give is that they have no questions. What does this really mean? It means they have made a decision and you are perfectly positioned to ask for it. This change of wording typically results in you gaining that response or in the specific questions they need answers to.
Either way, you are far closer to a decision, and you avoid the dreaded, “I need some time to think about it.”
That was the first simple lesson, but I promised two for one in this section. This next change is so simple and so profound, it works whether spoken, written, by text message . . . it works everywhere. It’s best used when you are looking to garner an additional piece of information from the other person and you want it effortlessly.
Consider a scenario in which you have met someone and would like to have a conversation with them at a later time. A mistake many people make is asking, “Can I have your phone number?” When you ask somebody, “Can I have your. . .?” it creates a permission-based resistance in the other person, which makes it harder to get what you hoped for, since a “yes” or “no” response is required. It can be seen as an invasion of privacy. Instead, asking the alternative question, “What’s the best number to contact you at?” results in people effortlessly giving you the information you requested.
Both of these sets of Magic Words demonstrate how changing a couple of words can make all the difference in the results you get from your conversations.
Changing a couple of words can make all the difference in the results you get from your conversations.