6 Things Salespeople Should Not Say
- “So I assume…”
- “Let me look your information up in the system.”
- “Let me be honest with you.”
- “If you still have a few minutes…”
- “If I can solve your problem, would you buy today?”
- “We will reduce costs and increase revenue.”
DANGER – Mouth Operates Faster Than Brain
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 six phrases that we often hear salespeople say that could be said better:
1. “So I assume…”
A reason not to say this: You are speaking for them by assuming, for example, how they’ll use your solution, what they think of your answer or an objection they may have.
Instead, you can say: “To clarify and be certain we’re on the same page…” or, help me understand your thoughts on…”
2. “Let me look your information up in the system.”
A reason not to say this: Even if you don’t have a company’s information at your fingertips during a call, we suspect you won’t want a customer to sense they’re little more than a number.
Instead, you can say: “I have your information right here, please give me a moment while I review it. A short pause or pleasant banter in this situation is appropriate while pulling up information.
3. “Let me be honest with you.”
A reason not to say this: This phrase or “To tell you the truth” implies you haven’t been honest until that point. It’s hard to recover from uttering this phrase as it has a subliminal impact on your relationship with the buyer.
Instead, you can say: “As you can tell …” or “As you’ve heard …”
4. “If you still have a few minutes…”
A reason not to say this: If you are asking for more time than was scheduled, you may not have managed the call well. If you have something important yet to say, the question is passive and lets the buyer opt-out.
Instead, you can say: If you are past the scheduled time, say, “Can you share with me additional questions or items you’d like to explore more in-depth?” If they say yes, they give you more time, which will allow you to revisit items you’d like to emphasize.
5. “If I can solve your problem, would you buy today?”
A reason not to say this: The goal of using this phrase is to corner the buyer into a decision. If you’ve effectively shaped a value proposition, you don’t need the phrase. Another side effect is that it nudges the relationship into a transactional mode.
Instead, you can say: “Based on what you’ve explained, let me recommend three solutions we can provide that would help you achieve your goals.”
6. “We will reduce costs and increase revenue.”
A reason not to say this: This phrase and others like it – “We’ll increase productivity and decrease downtime” or “We have the best network” – are ambiguous. There are no facts, numbers, or credible sources.
Instead, you can say: “Our firm works with companies similar operations to yours, where we have reduced costs by 15%.” Or, “we’ve helped ten organizations like yours reduce downtime between 15% and 25% last year.”
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 fourth 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