I’m sure you’ve heard all of these before, and I also bet you haven’t done much if any business with those who uttered them.
Of all the crappy sales pitches we hear daily, these phrases tend to be heard the most. And sometimes, even good salespeople will fall into their trap and wonder why their deal went dead.
This isn’t exhaustive, but these phrases you should clearly avoid:
1. “I think you’re making a mistake”
A couple weeks ago I literally had a sales rep tell me I was “misallocating budget” by working with their competitor. Nobody wants to think they are wrong, and if you’re explicit about that at the front of the sales process, you’re not doing much to build trust & credibility.
2. “Let me talk to my manager”
Really? Am I buying a car now? Clearly some reps and lead qualification specialists don’t have complete authority to make certain decisions. But I’ve heard this phrase far too often when asking basic questions about a product, its features or flexibility. If you need to go to your manager too often, why am I talking to you?
3. “When can I speak with your manager?”
Most salespeople want to speak with the most senior person possible. But if they make that clear to you, they’re basically telling you that you don’t matter, that they don’t think they can do business with you. Not very respectful.
4. “Tell me more about your company”
Gone are the days when this information wasn’t readily available online, with 2-3 minutes of research time. Few of us have time to do the salesperson’s work for them. It implies that you’re lazy, haven’t done your homework, and probably don’t even know if what you’re selling is even relevant to me.
5. “What do you want to hear?”
Who’s driving this sales call anyway? The sales rep should know enough about my company and situation to direct the conversation somewhere that can help me, provide me some insights, teach me something that will help me be more successful. Leave the conversation too open ended and I’ll have no idea where it should go, get frustrated, and move on.
6. “How can I help you?”
Different question, similar problem. If you don’t know what problem of mine you think you can solve, you’ve already lost.
7. “Is this a good time?”
Unless we’ve set an appointment, it’s never a good time. Plus, this is a great opening for the prospect to take back control of the conversation, say no, and shut you off before you even got started.
8. “You should…”
Later in the sales process, when you’ve already established a deep understanding of the prospect’s business, you may have the respect and authority to use these words. But up front, without that credibility, it makes you sound pompous. You don’t know my business, you don’t know my challenges, and I don’t appreciate you assuming that you do. Good bye.
What are some sales messages or phrases that particularly turn you off?