Avoid using the word ‘convenient’ when selling. Let it come from the buyer. Strive instead to get the buyer to vividly visualize how your product solves his problem. The word ‘convenient’ when selling is anything but.

Using the word ‘convenient’ when selling could be losing you sales. First, the definition, which the dictionary gives as, “fitting in well with a person’s needs, activities, and plans”.

And therein lays the problem. Every person or organization may have similar universal, but wildly different individual needs, activities and plans. To therefore say your product offers convenience (and all products claim to) is not useful to the buyer because he does not see how from his point of view. For example, with millions of Kenyans on Mpesa which is “convenient”, millions others still aren’t because they haven’t had their aha! moment. Average sellers who use only the word convenient to show how their product benefits the buyer, work under the assumption that “the buyer knows his problems, will see how my product/service can resolve it, and will therefore buy”. In truth, he doesn’t see, nor buy. Instead of telling the buyer how convenient your service is, and leave it at that, help him visualize by connecting the dots for him.

Descriptive usefulness

Borrowing from last week’s example, a through-way elevator (one that opens from opposite sides) fits well into an airport’s needs, activities and plans because it eases traffic flow and therefore queues by allowing passengers to alight from either side of it; that’s how convenience shows for the airport. Same product, in a hospital, saves lives because it cuts down by half the time it takes in an emergency to wheel a patent from casualty to theatre and because entry and exist is possible without turning the stretcher-that’s how it fits into the hospital administrator’s needs, activities and plans.

The convenience to a warehouse manager is the time saved and heightened safety as the forklift’s movement across the floor are limited and there’s no ramp to climb. That’s how it fits into the warehouse managers needs, activities and plans. Looking at these three scenarios, one begins to see why a plain, “our two-door lift will offer you convenience” lacks descriptive usefulness.

Show the dovetail

Even dictionaries give an example of the usage of a word after defining it. Not spelling out how your product dovetails with the buyers pain, forces him to do so himself. Which is not a priority as he has other pressing problems- like meeting his targets. And even if he were to do so, it’s a strain because he does not know how your product works. He may therefore create the wrong connections in his mind, which will hamper your sales efforts. In addition, the seller who plainly uses the word convenient, loses a golden opportunity to emotionally connect with the buyer by showing him that he understands his business and feels his pain. It is this connection that lends itself to an easier close.

The word convenient is not entirely misplaced in the selling process though. In fact, it’s music to the seller’s ear when, after connecting the dots for the buyer, a bulb lights up in the buyer’s head and he says, “Wow! That’s convenient”, like I did when my aha! moment at M-Pesa’s convenience sunk in. Then you know you are on the same page-your prognosis and diagnosis of his problem are correct and complete

When to use convenient

Avoid using the word convenient when selling. Let it come from the buyer. Strive instead to get the buyer to vividly visualize how your product solves his problem. The word convenient when selling is anything but.

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