Charisma is hard to define -- but when someone has charisma, it’s obvious. Charismatic salespeople have a significant advantage over their competition, since prospects are far likelier to engage with them, respect their guidance, and listen to their pitch.
One of the simplest ways to become more charismatic is changing your vocabulary. The following phrases are are powerful in isolation; use them together, and their effects will be even stronger.
1) “Tell me more.”
Traditional sales calls can feel like interrogations if you’re not careful. Charismatic salespeople avoid this issue by responding to their prospects with phrases like:
- “Tell me more.”
- “I see.”
- “Go on.”
These simple, neutral replies show the rep is listening and encourages the buyer to open up. They also avoid prompting the buyer to give a certain response, unlike leading questions such as, “Do you think that strategy is working?”
2) “It’s like … ”; “It’s as though … ”
There’s a reason writers rely on similes, metaphors, and analogies: These devices make your pitch more memorable and engaging.
See the difference:
Before: “Our tool helps you find and connect with passive candidates approximately three months before they start looking for a job.”
After: “Our tool helps you find and connect with passive candidates approximately three months before they start looking for a job. It’s like you’re starting a marathon an hour before the next racer.”
Coming up with a great figure of speech on the spot is hard to do, so once you find some that work, keep using them.
3) “No”; “yes”
Charisma and confidence go hand-in-hand. Next time you’re answering a close-ended question, fight the urge to over-explain: Simply saying “yes” or “no” will make you seem far more sure of yourself.
If your prospect wants more information, they’ll request it. This subtly puts you in a position of power. Furthermore, you’ll avoid rambling -- which tends to lessen your charisma.
Here’s an example of this tactic:
Prospect: “Do you service the Midwest?”
Prospect: “Great, how many distribution centers do you have in the region?”
4) “One of my customers … ”
Storytelling and charisma go hand-in-hand. People are usually most spell-bound when they’re absorbing a story, whether it’s a TV show, podcast, movie, play, book, or speech.
That’s why customer case studies have enormous power in the sales process. Use them to bring the value of your product to life for your prospects and show them how similar they are to its current users.
Narratives from your personal experience can also amp up your charisma (although be careful to maintain professionalism).
For example, if the buyer is struggling with his business’s payroll system, you might tell a humorous story about the time your former company’s system crashed right before taxes were due.
Not only will you win credibility, you’ll liven up the call.
5) “I’m excited about … ”
Charismatic people show their emotions “spontaneously and genuinely,” according to Ronald E. Riggio, author of "The Charisma Quotient: What It Is, How to Get It, How to Use It."
Others naturally pick up on those feelings, which makes them feel closer to the charismatic person and more comfortable expressing their own feelings.
With that in mind, share your emotions -- both positive and negative. When you’re enthusiastic about an opportunity for the buyer, say, “I’m excited about the chance you have to do X … ”
And when they give you a dismaying piece of news, say, “I’m disappointed to hear Y … ” or “It upsets me that … ”
Just make sure you don’t go too far: If you’re always mentioning how you feel or claiming to feel things you don’t, you’ll come across as unprofessional or inauthentic.
6) “To recap … ”
Repetition is a powerful device. Unsurprisingly, people better remember information the more often they hear it. Less intuitively, they’re also likelier to believe it.
If you have a specific fact or argument you really want to drive home, try saying it at the beginning and end of your sales call.
To give you an idea, you might say at the start: “The right Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will improve virtually every aspect of your hiring results.”
You’d end the call with, “To recap, implementing an ATS will improve your company’s hiring efforts across the board.”
7) “Imagine … ”
Charismatic salespeople use hypothetical situations -- especially ones that place the buyer front-and-center -- to captivate and convince their audience.
For instance, a rep might ask her prospect to imagine a world where she meets her objectives in half the time. He’ll immediately want to reach this future state -- making him more receptive to her pitch.
“Suppose,” “pretend,” “what if … ”and “envision” are also strong options for creating a vision in the buyer’s mind.
8) “Great question, I’m glad you asked.”
A rep with lots of charisma typically welcomes her prospects’ questions. She knows the safer the buyer feels asking for information or clarifying a detail, the likelier he is to trust her.
As an added benefit, this response subtly boosts her prospect’s ego. Who doesn’t like coming up with an insightful question?