12 Phrases that Could Cost You a Deal


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Making the most of your time with any prospect is the foundation of sales success, but are your words actually jeopardizing your performance?

Article 3 Minutes
12 Phrases that Could Cost You a Deal

A lot of work goes into identifying sales psychology and finding the tactics that will work best with different types of consumers, but the key to your success may actually be simpler than that.

The words and phrases you use could actually be jeopardizing your chance of bringing leads to the end of the buyer cycle. Here are 12 sentences you should avoid saying when talking to any prospect:

"I thought you'd be the right person to reach out to."

In the age of social media, and especially LinkedIn, there's no excuse for not being certain that the person you're speaking to is the right one. Saying this puts doubt instantly in the mind of the prospect that you don't know what you're doing.

"We can offer you a great discount."

Far from drawing your lead in, this devalues the service you're offering and can actually put them off. The product or service you can provide is worth its full price so don't go in selling it short.

"Sorry to bother you."

This immediately suggests that you don't have anything to offer them. You're not bothering them, you have something of great value to bring to them.

"We can raise the bar."

Whether you are referencing a competitor's previous work or your own, saying this devalues your service. It tells the prospect that you're only raising the bar because something bad has happened.

"Is this a good time?"

If what you have to say is of enough value, then it's going to be a good time to have that conversation. Prospects won't answer your call if they're about to head into a meeting or are busy so start off with what you have to offer them instead of checking whether it's inconveniencing them.

"Let's touch base."

One of the worst sales jargon phrases that really wind customers up. Try and get rid of any similar phrases and say what you actually mean.

"Our services are leading the industry."

Not only is this a tough ambition to meet, but it is unquantifiable, meaning you and your prospect may have very different ideas of what can be achieved. Instead focus on the value that your service can provide and how it can benefit their business.

"Can we discuss payment?"

The word payment is likely to cause friction with most leads. If they want to talk about costs, then go ahead but try to use gentler terms like 'amount'. For everything else, your accounts team should be able to chase and resolve.

"We are proactive about that."

You shouldn't need to tell consumers that you are proactive about anything that falls within your remit. They should be able to trust that everything involved with their account will be dealt with due diligence and expertise.

"I'm just checking in with you."

You should always have a reason for contacting a prospect, lead or customer. Saying this suggests that you'll be wasting their time and that you're only getting in touch to tick it off your to-do list. Even if you are just doing a progress check, make sure there's a reason for reaching out to them, like wanting to check their satisfaction.

"You'll get a 360 view."

This immediately suggests that you would have been concealing something had you not said that. Salespeople already have a tough task coming across as genuine so make sure you're not shooting yourself in the foot.

“Do you have budget for this?”

Understanding the budget constraints of your prospect is important but approaching it in such a blunt manner could rub leads up the wrong way. Instead, focus on the value of your service and offer to send them over a breakdown if they want a more detailed overview.

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