9 Phrases You Should Never Say on a Sales Call

Oct 19
When salespeople make a sales call, they must apply a great deal of nuance to their buyer or customer conversations. Sales deals are made or broken on what you say.

They deal with many different personalities each day, and people can interpret things very differently with such varied communication styles. It can be a blessing in some situations, and in others, it can lead to miscommunications, which can derail entire sales opportunities.

To excel in sales, salespeople need to keep things simple and avoid risky words and phrases. Whether a sales call or email, the risk is still high.

Read More.....

On a sales call where you must be quick on your feet, you need to be mindful of exactly what you are saying and how you say it.

There are some very common phrases used by salespeople which need to be removed from their vocabulary. Unfortunately, these phrases have been picked up from listening to others without ever questioning if it’s the smart thing to say.

The list is long, but we have highlighted nine of the most commonly used phrases that could see your sales immediately spike upwards if dropped from your vocabulary.

These are the nine things salespeople should never say on a sales call:

1. “I’m just checking in with you…”

People check into hotels, not sales calls. What do you want to achieve when you check-in? Potential buyers are smart enough to understand that what you are doing is trying to sell them something or close a deal. They know you are not bringing anything new to the table, just waiting on them. You have handed the buyer control of the sales process.

2. “Is now still a good time?”

The potential buyer has just answered your call, and you are asking them if they wish to terminate it? If they don’t have time to talk, they will advise you immediately, without even asking them. The buyer now has control of the sales process, and you are now working to their timeline, not yours. You cannot control a sale and close business by being overly accommodating and subservient. Your time is equally valuable as theirs, and you need to gain commitments towards finalising a sales contract.

3. “Do you need some time to think about it?”

This is another way of handing control of the sales process to the buyer. There may be “awkward” silence as the buyer considers their position, and you jump in and solve the problem by allowing them more time. But, again, you are being overly accommodating and letting them off the hook from making a decision. You could be losing deals because you are too accommodating and not focused on getting commitment.

4. “Are you the decision-maker?”

Potentially the rudest question anyone could ask in selling. Instead of doing your research and finding the potential decision-makers of the company, you have just jumped in and asked them to do your work for you. The question often offends as it can be perceived as you do not think they have the authority or demeanour of a decision-maker. As a result, you are reducing their position in the company. Rarely is this question not taken negatively, and the rest of your sales appointment will be polite conversation till then can be rid of you.

5. “Does that make sense?”

After explaining your product or services to a potential buyer, you question their competency to relate to what you have just said. For example, did you speak to them at such a technical level that they could not understand you (a bad mistake in itself) or do you not understand your own offering well enough to make sense to you?

You may not mean harm, but many people will take it negatively, as though you do not think they are smart enough. Instead, use a different phrase like, is there some points where you may need further detail as part of your review process?

6. “To be honest with you..”

Were you not honest before? This big slip-up occurs when you are over trying to build trust and rapport. It is like saying you have done the company spiel, but now you will be honest. This phrase discredits the company and you as the salesperson. Just say what you want to say without qualifiers to start the sentence.

7. “Normally we don’t do this, but…”

Showing you can bend the rules for them means you will do anything to get the deal done. It shows a desperate and somewhat manipulative salesperson in how they get to sign business agreements. Your credibility is gone when you use this phrase. You are not making them feel they are being looked after; you are making them feel tricked. Be straight with them on what your company can do without the qualifier statement.

8. “Can I send you some information?”

Rarely does sending information to buyers does not move a sales opportunity forward. They can find information on the internet without your assistance. You are putting in barriers that will stop you from moving the sales process forward and having solid next steps and an agreement with the buyer. Your goal is to build a conversation with the person and them being reliant on you to answer all their questions.

9. “What keeps you up at night?”

This old sales cliché dates back 20-30-40 years and is known for entrapment. Every senior decision-maker knows its fishing expedition of salespeople looking for marlin to jump on the end of the line and make a great sale. But unfortunately, asking this question immediately lowers your value to the buyer as they know you are not putting in the time to ask open-ended investigative questions and build a solid solution for their situation.

If you remove these questions from your vocabulary, you will be surprised how the quality of your sales call and management of the sales process improves to deliver sales results.

You may also be interested in reading - How Not to Ruin Your Sales Career

© 2022 Sales Focus Coaching. All Rights Reserved.