I enjoy listening to salespeople, particularly when they are trying to sell me something. I look forward to buying a new car! Honestly, there are times that I’m afraid my jaw drops in amazement at what I hear. I have pulled together some of the most egregious offenders below. Take a minute and read these. Hopefully, none of them sound too familiar. If they do, give serious consideration to forbidding them from passing your lips ever again.
1. “Let me talk to my manager”
As I said, I look forward to buying a car and this one is almost guaranteed! Maybe there’s a good reason, but in B2B selling a sales rep should be able to answer most questions and have enough authority to respond to delivery and pricing questions. At some point your prospect must be thinking “hey, let’s just get your manager in here and make some decisions!” If you fall into this category, invite your manager on every call or have a heart to heart with your manager and resolve this issue.
2. “Tell me more about your company”
What? Have you heard of Google or Bing? A much better question is “I was going through your website and learned a lot about your company, but there a couple of specific questions I couldn’t get answered. Maybe you could help me on these….
3. “Is this a good time?”
No, there is NO good time dummy! Eliminate the question and get to the point. This isn’t respectful; it’s dumb. If we’ve set and confirmed an appointment, this question is redundant…get to the point.
4. “I think you’re making a mistake”
Sure, everyone likes being told they are making a mistake…really? If there is a surefire way to destroy any credibility and trust with a prospect….this phrase may be the chart topper!
5. “When can I speak with your boss?”
Yes, you want to get in front of the decision maker. But, let’s not alienate your primary contact immediately. This question demonstrates that your contact is useless to you. Try something along the lines of “is there anyone else that we should invite to our meeting?” You may actually get several suggested names that will help you in the future.
6. “You should…”
Once you’ve already established an understanding of your prospect’s business, you may have the respect and authority to use these words. But in the beginning, without that credibility, it makes you sound arrogant. Your prospect is likely to think “You don’t know my business, you don’t know my challenges, and I don’t appreciate you assuming that you do.” Go away.
Listen to yourself. Make a recording, do some role plays and tape them. We all have favorite phrases that we overuse. What are yours and how annoying are they to a prospect/customer?