“Now, I want to talk to you about my other product…” This is how most reps transition from a discussion about one product to the next. What a lost opportunity! If they just used some transitional phrases (also called bridging statements) the conversation would sound more natural, would flow better, and they would get a chance to reinforce a marketing message or salient point about their product.
In contrast, have you noticed how transition statements just occur naturally in everyday conversations? It seems that once a person becomes a sales rep, they tend to forget that the best sales calls are sales conversations. They tend to use words that would sound unnatural when used in conversations with friends and family, such as, ““Honey, would you agree that if we go to Market House rather than Taco Bell we would have a better dining experience?” Sounds a bit strange, doesn’t it? So why do reps say something similar when talking with their customers?
Transitions are necessary for rarely are sales conversations about only one topic. Even if you are only selling one product, you will likely begin or end with a personal conversation. These bridges provide the way to effortlessly and seamlessly move from personal discussions to business, from one product discussion to the next, from one feature of your offering to another, and from a business to a personal dialogue.
The goal is to transition to these disparate parts of the conversation without losing the attention of your listener. How to do this effectively requires preparation in advance. Odds are that you’ll need to transition from a personal to business conversation (or vice versa) and/or talk about multiple products. Once you create these transitions, you’ll find that with practice and usage, they will make your conversations sound and feel more natural.
Because not only does a transition link ideas, it is designed to keep the interest of the listener—or to gain renewed interest. If you were talking about personal topics and your transition to the business conversation is, “Now I want to talk to you about my product…” you have not only bluntly ended one part of the conversation, you now sound like a typical sales representative. Rather than being interested in what you have to say, your customer may just tune you out.
When planning on how to transition, it helps to look for certain unifying themes such as commonalities or differences. “If you like A, then you will also like B.” “Or most people who prefer A also have an aversion to B—which is why our product does not…” Concentrate on the typical points that you frequently discuss as part of your business conversations and create transitions that unite those elements. You’ll find that you can use these transitions again and again. The result will be sales conversations that make you stand out from those typical sales people who don’t know how to effectively bridge from one part of the sales call to another. This natural flow will sound more pleasing to your customers—resulting in them listening to what you have to say with more interest—which should lead to better sales results.