Using The But Flip


But – a small yet powerful word. How many times have you waited for the ‘but’ in a conversation? Invariably when the word ‘but’ is used it negates everything that came before it; we just delete that information as being true and only take notice of what came after the ‘but’.

When your are talking with clients/potential clients, team members etc. and you ask them if they are interested in say buying a product or service, undertaking some training, taking on additional work and so on be prepared for a ‘but’ and to do the ‘but flip’.

If they say ‘yes’ straight away all well and good however, suppose they say ‘yes I would but…’ And then give a whole list of reasons why not from money, time, other conflicting priorities, to lack of support and so on. What then?

Using the ‘but flip’ to test commitment and interest:

  1. Start your response with ‘so if’
  2. Play back to them all they said e.g. if time wasn’t a problem, the price is right and you have access to the funds, your partner was available to child mind… then you would do/buy/participate’
  3. By flipping the ‘but’ excuses around you can quickly test if those conditions were met they would take the action
  4. Their response will either tell you that yes, if the potential barriers are overcome they would buy the product/service, undertake the training, work additional hours etc. or they’ll give you the real reason why not – possibly prefaced by a ‘but’!