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Exactly What To Say

book: Exactly What To Say
author: Phil M. Jones

general overview

magic words are sets of words that talk straight to the subconscious brain. the subconscious brain is a powerful tool in decision-making because it is pre-programmed through our conditioning to make decisions without over analyzing them. it works a little like a computer – it has only “yes” and “no” outputs and can never land on a “maybe”. it is strong and decisive and moves quickly. using words that talk straight to the part of the brain that is free from maybes and responds on reflex gives you a fair advantage in conversation and can result in you getting your own way more often.

Jones begins the book by sharing his observation that successful people have one thing in common: “they know exactly what to say, how to say it, and how to make it count.”

the magic words are:

  • i’m not sure if it’s for you but…
  • open-minded (e.g. “would you be open-minded about giving this a chance?”)
  • what do you know?
  • how would you feel if…
  • just imagine…
  • when would be a good time?
  • i’m guessing you haven’t got around to…
  • simple swaps (e..g turning “do you have any questions?” into “what questions do you have for me?”)
  • you have three options…
  • there are two types of people in this world…
  • i bet you’re a bit like me…
  • if you… then… (e.g. “if you decide to give this a try, then i promise you won’t be disappointed.”)
  • don’t worry…
  • most people… (e.g. “most people in your situation would probably select the middle option.”)
  • the good news… (e.g. “the good news is that we’ve got a robust training program and 24/7 customer support, so we’ll make sure you’re getting the most out of your product from day 1.”)
  • what happens next…
  • what makes you say that?
  • before you make up your mind…
  • if i can… will you? (e.g. “if i can come down 10% on the price, can you complete the purchase today?”)
  • enough (e.g. turning “would you like 1 or 3 bottles?” into “would 3 bottles be enough for you?”)
  • just one more thing…
  • could you do me a small favor?
  • just out of curiosity…

the book talks a lot about using words that talk straight to the part of the brain that is free from maybes and responds on reflex, gives you a fair advantage in conversation and can result in you getting your own way more often.

this translates specifically to my work here at Scorpion because there are times when i need something from a client, but would typically have a hard time getting it — using words like the magic words listed above have helped to yield an actually response (with an answer to my question) in those situations.

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