Using language to sell anything

According to an article on by Geoffrey James and a blog by Brian Tracy, selling comes down to how you speak to the prospect.

As a sales professional, you need to discover the difference in a feature and a benefit or solution.

The feature you’re selling may be just what the prospect needs, but until you show them how that feature provides them with a solution to a problem, you’re in limbo.

Mr. James says to learn the difference between a benefit and a feature, using plain speech, brevity, unique qualities you or your company offer and explaining concrete benefits will increase the chance of a sale.

Benefit vs. feature

If you only talk about features, the prospect may not understand how that feature fits into their life or how it will improve what they already have.

In the article, James gave the following example:

  • “This car has a reinforced safety roof.” – wrong, feature
  • “This car keeps your family safe.“ – right, benefit

Use easy-to-understand words and descriptive language

 Use words that are easily understood and evoke an emotion. Instead of spouting off features, talk about how that feature will take care of the prospect’s family, employees or self.

Forget the clichés

Instead of boring the prospect with business-ese or the latest catchphrase, talk to them like you would a friend who you want to tell about a great new product.

Be brief

Cut to the heart of the matter. Don’t spout off a dozen reasons the prospect should buy – zero in on one or two of the most important reasons.

How are you different?

Tell the prospect how you provide better customer service or have a better product.

Be specific

Paint a picture using specifics, not vague-speak. The examples for are:

  • “We can radically reduce your inventory costs.” – wrong
  • “We decrease inventory costs by an average of 25 percent.” – right


Other insurance blog gurus, such as Brian Tracy on, say asking a series of questions can move prospects to a “yes.”


Do you currently have insurance?

Why or why not?

If something happened to you, would your loved ones be able to pay off the house?

How does that make you feel?

And more questions until the prospect gets the message that you are the solution.

Whichever technique you take, be sure you’re leaving a prospect with questions only he or she can answer – with you and your product as the solution.


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Tamera Shaw is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions based in Louisville, Kentucky. She writes fiction and enjoys amateur photography. She happily shares her life with husband Ron, daughter Cate and sage cat, Sophie, who grudgingly shares her home with the newest member of our family – Nieko, our new kitten.


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