This chunk of smart came for the super straight forward title “How to Use Words to Influence People” by Gemma Bailey.   Ummm, yeah, probably a good title to read for sales people.

This language pattern is great for my multi-year project of betting off my BUT.    Might need to read that twice and think about it a min.   I have been working for a while on eradicating the lazy uses of the word “but” from my communications.

But is a negation word.   It negates anything put before it.  We all have heard this before and we keep using it anyways.  Everyone has had a conversation that was “You know I love you, but….”   How much love to you feel.

It’s an terribly ineffective way to give negative feedback or constructive criticism.   Yields more resentment and eye rolls than positive action.   Fortunately there is an easy fix.

The 2 easiest are:
1) Lazy Method: Just flip the sentence around.   Put the good thing first.    You need to work on getting your conversions up but you are still a great employee.   Your grades are great overall but you need to get your English scores up.   Your credit score is bad but I can still get you approved.
2) Really Lazy Method:  Just change the “but” to “and”.    No really, you can just do that and it will sound better.    It doesn’t even have to make sense, it will still be better than your lame ol’ but.

You are a great employee and you need to get your conversions up.   See, doesn’t that sound better than the “but” version?

Your call reports look good and you need to get your closing % up.

I love this stuff.   I’m just an “and” kinda guy.

Oh, so back go Gemma.   Here is her pattern:

“Yea, <agree with feature they have objected to>, and <state the biggest positive benefit that you are proposing> – and if you are truly dedicated to <high value that you know that they have> then you must be devoted to <whatever it is that you are proposing> .

I like that it starts with the great tactic of “always agree”.   So many people try to attack an objection.   Though, more times than not, will get the customer to actually dig in on the objection.  The principle of consistency will make them want to be right.   Don’t do that.

The trick is the 3rd set of < >.   Knowing their higher value.   This is why you have to get to know your customer.   Know what they really want.   The “if you do <surface thing they say they want> what does that really get you?”    People want WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH IT.

You don’t want money – you want the shit you can buy in it.   You don’t want a house – you want the things you will do in it.   Or maybe the things you won’t do (I f-ing hate moving!).    I didn’t tear out my grass to put in fake grass because I want grass.   I want NOT MOWING.

So know they “when you get the XX what will that give you.”


“Yeah, credit repair can be expensive and it will get this stuff deleted off your credit report.   So if you want to put the bad times of  when you couldn’t pay your bills behind you and move on with your life then you have to let us delete it.”

“Yep, getting a house is a big, expensive commitment that you know you are going to do sooner or later.   And if you want to settle into YOUR own place and get started on your family home its something you have to pay now.”

“Yeah, I know that its hard work and not fun to make 5 cold calls per days, and I know that you are committed to being successful.   So if you are devoted to always having the money you need to live your dreams you will find a way to get them done.”

Crazy huh?    I know that it will be fundamental change to the way you communicate with people.  I also know that you are dedicated to a successful life and getting people to help you with your dreams so I know you are devoted to finding ways to use this pattern more.