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Fix your sales patter fails or risk losing business

written by April Brunt

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This isn’t an 80’s rom-com and you are not Gordon Gekko. Business catchphrases are cliché and often flag up to customers that you are not treating them as individuals. Overused sales patter can quickly turn a client off. So, pause next time you go to assure someone your product is a ‘win-win’ for them or that it provides ‘peace of mind’… yawn. You can do better than that. Tell them a real example from a current client similar to them, or better yet, tailor a few personalized projections based on your prospect’s business.


Scripted patter

What’s worse than a boring monologue? A boring monologue where only 10% of it applies to your needs. It’s great to have a sales script to create a standardized way of discussing your service or product with prospects but it also limits your ability to tailor content. The list of questions isn’t chiselled in stone. If you refuse to break from the script you may miss an opportunity to respond in conversation to a query raised by the client.

In a blog for HubSpot, COO Connor Burt wrote, “If you don’t want to annoy a prospect, treat their words like a treasure map. Take the correct route depending on the answers or clues they give you.”


The power of positive language

It sounds obvious but using positive words makes people feel more optimistic in their outlook. Yet, it is all too easy to fall into apologetic, negative patterns of talking during a sales pitch. Be careful of using some of these tired phrases and instead use a fresh, positive version:

Negative Cliché What this translates to What you could say How this translates/can benefit you
I Don’t Want to Waste Your Time This sale is too much hassle/hard work

The product doesn’t fit the client

The product may not be the best fit for you currently but can I contact you in the future? You don’t want to misinform what your product does but believe in its future development
Does that make sense? Do you get it dummy? How does that sound to you? Offers a neutral but open-ended question that will allow the client to give candid feedback
Are You the Decision Maker? I have no time for you if you are not What are the steps in your decision-making process? Gives insight into the whole process and all the contacts you need to consider
Just Touching Base I have nothing new to say – just impatiently chasing your decision I have been researching the challenges you mentioned in our last conversations and have some interesting solutions… I care about the challenges you face and how I can help.
Do You Have a Budget For This? The product is expensive/too expensive for you Say nothing. Let the customer decide the value of your product.
No problem This required no effort for me You’re welcome I appreciate the thanks for the hard work I put into the meeting/presentation.


Be honest – but don’t say it

Who trusts someone who prequalifies their next statement with ‘to be honest…’ It’s up there with ‘No offence but…’ We all know that we use these to excuse the insult or inappropriate information we are about to spill.

Saying you are going to be honest implies that it requires fanfare as you are usually a massive liar. JUST. BE. HONEST.


Say My Name, Say My Name

It is a tightrope act to balance the use of a client’s name to keep their attention and make the content of your pitch to feel personalized Vs. it becoming insincere and downright creepy.


Vidya Drego, head of marketing for AppMesh, got to the point when he said that “Customers want to feel like they’re important, but not like they’re the family dog.”


In a blog for Natural Training, training professional Matt Drought advises we take our lead on how much we are using a client’s name from their reaction when we say it. If they seem relaxed and smile you are doing OK. If they seem a tad irritated you may want to bite your tongue.


Oh, and if you are going to make a point of using a client’s name – make sure you get it right. Saying Martha instead of Martin isn’t going to get you very far.


Check out our white-paper ’19 Tips You’d Be Stupid to Ignore’

Written By -

I’m a marketing executive here at sales-i with a special place in my heart for geometric shapes, uneven numbers and statement acrylic jewellery. I enjoy creating and delivering insightful information in creative formats. Functional can be beautiful! Connect with me on LinkedIn: April Brunt

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