5 Things Salespeople Should Not Say
- “You should know this about the competition”
- “What do I have to do to get your business?”
- “What if I said…?”
- “Think about it and let me know.”
- “It’s our policy we don’t…”
Here’s the fifth and final post in our series of Things Salespeople should not say.
Salespeople want to ask good questions or say the right thing, but at times, we tend to drift away from what we want to communicate by not paying attention to the words that come out of our mouths.
Here are five phrases that we often hear salespeople say that could be said better:
1. “You should know this about the competition.”
A reason not to say this: You can talk about the competition, even compare yourself to them. However, comments that call into question their business practices should be out of bounds, even if other customers shared the insight.
Instead, you can say: “There’s quite a bit of competition in our market, and I’m honored that you’re considering us. I’m confident that you’ll see that we offer more value than other options you consider.”
2. “What do I have to do to get your business?”
A reason not to say this: This phrase is typically an indication that the salesperson has not established a value proposition and is desperate for a “lifeline” from the buyer. It’s also an invitation for the buyer to negotiate the price lower.
Instead, you can say: “Let’s review the options we’ve presented and discuss which one you believe is the best fit at this time.”
3. “What if I said…?”
A reason not to say this: Ugh. You’re saying something that you are implying you won’t say. You’ll confuse the buyer and invite them to use the same approach with you!
Instead, you can say: “Based on what you’ve shared and my research, your current spending is $5,000 per month. Similar customers with this level of spend reduce costs by 15% – 20% within the year. We’re confident we can do the same for your organization.”
4. “Think about it and let me know.”
A reason not to say this: They are thinking about it as you are speaking with them. If the buyer needs time to digest your material or socialize with others, there should be a timeline and a sense of urgency. Otherwise, they’ll delay decision-making as other priorities will compete for time.
Instead, you can say: “Can we discuss your timeline for making a decision or next steps? Can we schedule a follow-up call now?”
5. “It’s our policy we don’t…”
A reason not to say this: It may be convenient to hide behind “policy” when a salesperson believes they can’t meet a buyer’s request. However, there are typically options to minimize company policies. Just avoid the word “policy.”
Instead, you can say: “Our standard payment terms are 45 days, although we have extended terms beyond 45 days with the proper contractual terms and conditions. Let’s work on outlining our agreement so we can address this to our mutual satisfaction.”
Salespeople are in “hand-to-hand” combat with competitors, so they must be precise in what they say throughout the sales process.
It can be challenging to maintain focus in the heat of a selling situation, even for tenured salespeople.
These suggestions are the fifth and final in a series we’ve published. You can access the other posts below:
Things Salespeople Should Not Say #1
Things Salespeople Should Not Say #2
Things Salespeople Should Not Say #3