“You” instead of “We” In context of The Need Payoff Question?

Author: Anders Christian Hjort

I found the blog contribution below interesting in the context of the ongoing behavioural research we do at Huthwaite International.

It made me think if you can improve the way you phrase the Need Payoff Questions we discovered to build value effectively in the mind of the customer.

What’s more customer centric – in your opinion – comparing these two powerful Need Payoff Questions that effective sellers use to persuade buyers:

How would it help, if WE could….?


How would it help if YOU could…?

Give it a thought and try it out… 🙂

The blog by Tim Riesterer below is worth a read, also in this context:

Nine common phrases made great by using “you” instead of “we”

When the littlest piggy cries, “Wee, wee, wee” all the way home, that isn’t a good thing. And neither is saying “we, we, we” all over your website, campaigns, and marketing and sales messages. If you could do only one thing this year that could make an instant difference in your messaging, you’d replace all your “we phrasing” with “you phrasing.” You phrasing is more effective because it makes sure your prospect or customer is at the center of your story and engaged in the conversation.

Why Use ‘You’ Instead of ‘We’?

Using the word “you” instead of “we” helps transfer ownership to your prospects and customers because it causes their minds to unconsciously “try out” your solutions as you describe what they can do with it. Your audience member is no longer just a passive listener; he will be more actively engaged in your ideas and your story. In fact, you probably noticed I’m already using the technique in this blog post to gain your attention and give you ownership over implementing this strategy!

Still skeptical?

You phrasing has been proven to have a measurable impact. Researchers in Tempe, Arizona tested attitudes toward cable television. They used two different scripts to sell the cable services—one using the third person and one using you phrasing. Researchers found that when you phrasing was implemented, it doubled the number of cable sales. Now, that’s impressive!

Start Changing Phrases Today Once you start practicing with you phrasing, you’ll find yourself in your customers’ and prospects’ world more than you have ever been. That will help you connect your story to your customers’ story in a powerful way—one that they’ll want to listen to because you’re addressing their needs and concerns, and not your company’s.

Here’s a list of common phrases that can become more effective by using you phrasing:

“Our company allows you to… ”
“Next, I’m going to… ”
“We need to be able to… ”

“What if I could show you… ?”

Now, see if you notice a difference in these phrases…

“What you’ll be able to do is… ”
“Next, you’ll be able to… ”
“You need to be able to… ”

“What if you could… ?”

“What you can do is… ”

The difference is subtle but powerful. By using you phrasing, you are helping your prospects’ and customers’ unconscious minds feel like they’re participating. In fact, you phrasing isn’t just a technique; it should be your mindset. You phrasing forces you to live in your prospects’ and customers’ world, the place they need you to care about and understand if you want to close more deals with them.

Using “you” instead of “we” is a simple and quick change, but one that will have notable results if you apply it correctly. So, next time you’re creating a marketing campaign or other marketing communications content, use the word “you” to capture the attention of your audience. By doing so, you’ll make them want to consider making a change and to pick you.

Tim Riesterer is chief strategy and marketing officer for Corporate Visions, Inc. He is also the co-author of “Customer Message Management” (Thomson/AMA) and “Conversations That Win the Complex Sale” (McGraw Hill).



6 thoughts on ““You” instead of “We” In context of The Need Payoff Question?

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  2. whoah this blog is great i like reading your posts. Keep up the good work! You know, a lot of people are searching around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

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