The Tiny Word That Ruins Prospect Presentations

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Have you ever found yourself in a client meeting using questions like these?

“If I had something that could…”(Often followed by, “would you be interested?”)

“If you had a way to…” (Often followed by, “would you find value in that?”)

“What if I had…”

“What if you could…”

I have seen advisors ask questions this way with perfectly good intent. They are trying to help.

But how did you feel when you read those words?

How do you read those questions if they are coming from someone who gets paid if you take their advice? Didn’t each of those questions sound cheesy? Can you see some old-time seller asking them, then winking and rolling the pen? (“Rolling the pen” is an old-school closing trick, kids. Don’t do it!)

The culprit is a small, unassuming word that kills your credibility and makes your selling sound cheesy: “If.”

The problem with “if”

Outside of client and prospect interactions, the word “if” is useful – it can do anything from supposing (if X, then Y) to introducing a condition (I’ll jump if you jump first). And although those functions are generally neutral, in sales the word “if” has unintended negative consequences.