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Words Matter – Make What You Say Pay!


Words MatterUnexpected Brilliance

I had a surprising online experience recently that just stopped me in my tracks. First, I thought it was funny. Then, I realized it was brilliant.

I was having problems with some email software that I pay for and, like many of us, found the FAQs in the Help section to be totally useless.  So, I selected the Contact Us option and dutifully filled in my name, email, and complaint. Then, came the surprise.

I was asked “How do you feel?  My choices were

  1. A) Mildly Annoyed
  2. B) Frustrated
  3. C) Angry

Well, A) didn’t quite say it and C) was stronger than I felt (after all, it wasn’t as if my computer had crashed), so, yes, darn it, I was B) Frustrated!

It felt so good to be able to let them know that.

Feelings Complete the Picture

Venting is cathartic. It doesn’t eliminate the emotion, but it reduces its intensity substantially, if negative and increases it, if positive.  The Emotion question allowed me to be heard and don’t we all want to be heard?   The person at the other end of my complaint now has a  much better idea of how I feel and will, no doubt, respond accordingly, which will make me feel better.

Clients who feel heard and understood tend to remain clients.

Logic Tells. Emotion Sells,

When you present or sell, it is always a good idea to ask people how they feel about a problem, opportunity, feature, or assumed benefit. Examples include: How do you feel about that?  What's your feeling about achieving that goal? or simply making statements like That sounds exciting. That must be frustrating.   Your clients' responses will be deep indicators of the importance they attach to what you have just said, which will allow a much more meaningful–and profitable–conversation for both of you.

Anne Miller is a leading presentation and demo specialist, speaker, and coach who helps people in high stakes situations win business, sell ideas, and rally others to a cause. For more information and free ebook, visit

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