Some swear selling over the phone is harder than face to face, where as others state the opposite. All types of sales come with their challenges, not least the words you use to present yourself.
Arguably the most important weapon in your sales arsenal is your vocabulary. It can be the difference between creating a rapport with your customer and falling completely flat.
Whilst many will rely on following the crowd to get by – that’s the last mantra you want to live by as a salesperson. Find our top 5 overused phrases to avoid in sales below. Kick these out of your sales patter to get ahead of the competition…
1. We’re better than the competition
…and that starts by never explicitly saying that you’re better than the competition. Assume your prospect already believes that, or at the very least portray that you believe it by avoiding pushy direct comparisons. Instead, prove that you’re different. In a world of choice, it’s important to show why you’re the right fit for your prospect by aligning your offering to their specific needs, rather than trying to outdo your competitors. Chances are anything you want to prove can be found on the web anyway, so tell them something they don’t know. Differentiate, don’t compare.
2. Here’s what we can do for you
How we can benefit you is a much weaker phrase than you can benefit from this because. While only a subtle difference, the differentiation in tone can be significant over the period of a phone call. Putting the focus on how they can be benefitted by your service rather than what you or your product can do, works to emphasize how important they are in the transaction. You are doing them a favour by making something better, easier, faster, rather than them doing you a favor and helping you to make a sale. You places importance on the buyer, while We reverses that. The best type of sales conversations work because they remove the seller from the act of selling almost entirely. You are doing them a favor, let them realize it.
3. Anything generic ever
While hard to avoid, and often ingrained into the speech patterns of salespeople across the world, generic phrases used to open, close and push along conversations feel clichéd and awkward. Besides the fact that they’ve come to mean so little over time, they also run the risk of irking your prospect, or worse, suggesting that you’ve scripted the whole thing. Just touching base, thank you for your time, and I hope your day is going well are some of the worst offenders. We’re not saying don’t be polite. Just be polite in an original and sincere way. While some of us aren’t as well versed as our colleagues in the art of conversation, that doesn’t mean we have to be robots. Plan, but be natural, and your prospect is much more likely to be won over.
4. Can I speak to the decision maker?
No you may not. This answer is never going to be answered the way you want it to, and you know it, so why bother asking? The frustration will come through in your tone and that will only set you back. Sales is a process, and climbing the ladder to get to the right person is part of that process. While spending time pitching on the phone before realizing that you haven’t in fact been speaking to the person who can make change can be frustrating – they are still the person who can control if you ever get through to that decision maker. So stay professional, and try to reword it to something a little less patronizing.
5. I don’t know
Never don’t know. If you ever don’t know, don’t let the prospect know you don’t know. Make sense? Essentially, this one can be avoided with a little planning and preparation before a call. However, should you ever find yourself in a situation where you are unsure of the answer, those three words can instantly remove the prospect’s confidence in you. The worst part is, it’s such an easy phrase to avoid. That’s interesting, what do you think? I’ve never actually been asked that one before, what’s your take?, or even I think the best way to answer that is to evaluate it further. Give yourself time, flatter the prospect, take control of the situation by owning the fact you don’t know and controlling where the conversation goes from there. But never, ever, not know. If you don’t know what to say, they won’t know why to bother listening.
There’s an abundance of sales techniques and sales pitching tips available out there – but when it comes to phrases and words to avoid in sales, the real sales talk advice, it doesn’t get simpler than going against the grain. When you’re selling, you want to be likeable, and being likeable often correlates with being honest, personable and individual. That means saying what you want to say, and what the prospect wants to hear, in a way they may not have heard before.
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