9 Sales Phrases You Need to Delete From Your Vocabulary NOW!

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

– Sir Winston Churchill

There’s nothing quite like starting a blog with a highfalutin quote from a famous person, is there? It really lends proceedings a classy touch. But while we run the risk of looking a wee bit pretentious by leading off with that uttered phrase from our greatest ever prime minister there, we stand by it. It’s a nice little quote and perfectly sums up how to approach success in the sales game.

If you take failure to heart and let it affect you, you’re going to struggle to sell. You need to shake off the last defeat and go again with your head held high. But you need more than just that energy, zest and eagerness. You need to be smart. You need to think like the person you’re selling to. What do they want? And, often more importantly, what do they not want? The answer to that second question? Well, quite often they don’t want to be sold to…

Makes things tricky, eh? Well, quite. But don’t give up. Just get smart. You can still sell without ‘selling’. The key is subtlety. Now, that may not be a watchword on your sales floor, but it should be. People will buy from you. But generally when they feel like they’ve decided to, not because you’ve made them. You need to go in under the radar. The best way to do that is by not sounding like you’re selling.

You need to stop using sales phrases.

It’s easy for them to bleed into your lexicon. You hear someone else say something, you say it once and before you know it you’re blurting it out during every call. They could just be damaging your numbers, though…

Here are 9 sales phrases it’s a smart idea to avoid using:

‘Touching base’
Urgh. The classic. It’s so cliche now that it’s almost impossible to say without sounding like you’re joking. Yet people still want to ‘touch base’. Come on, everyone. It’s not 1987. Put those Filofaxes away.

‘Checking in’
‘Checking in’ sounds an awful lot like ‘checking up on’ and with good reason – they’re one and the same thing. Imagine someone calls you to ‘check in’. They’re basically asking why you haven’t done that thing you kind of agreed you’d do. It’s a little pushy and can put certain people on the defensive, which is not somewhere they’re like to buy from.

‘Sorry to bother you’
This is a really poor way to establish a relationship. You’re starting on the back foot and being submissive from the get-go. The assumption to be made after apologising for interrupting is that you’re wasting the person’s time. You’re not. You’re selling them something they need. You’re working with them. You’re helping them. That’s no reason to say sorry.

‘I wanted to connect’
This phrase may fly on LinkedIn, but it’s just not really how people talk. You’re looking to have a conversation and chat with the person. Teach them something then allow them to buy something they want and need from you. ‘I wanted to connect’, it’s just not a natural phrase. It screams ‘SALES!’

‘Are you the right person to speak to?’
You kind of need to ask this, we get it. But ideally you’d do your research before the call and find out what you need to know before picking up the receiver. Asking the person if they’re the decision maker could leave you looking ill-prepared. Plus, there’s rarely ever just one person anymore. Buying decisions are increasingly made by committee decision.

‘Can I quickly tell you about?’
Why do you need to rush? Are you wasting their time? Also, you’re breaking a cardinal rule here – you’re asking a closed question. One ‘no’ and you’re done. Think of a smarter way to ask the question.

‘To be honest with you’
You’re a salesperson. People already kind of assume you lie. Whether you do or not… Well, that’s down to your own conscience. We wouldn’t recommend it, but hey – it’s your job. Whether you bend the truth or not, coming out with something like ‘to be honest with you’? What does that imply? It implies you’d been lying up until that point. Not a good look.

‘Trust me’
If there’s one really effective way to get a person not to trust you, it’s to tell them to trust you.

‘If I don’t hear back from you’
Ah, the old threat game. Even if it’s subtle and the threat isn’t real, it’s lacking class. Avoid this kind of thing, it doesn’t look good on you or your company.

It may be difficult to ditch all of these well-worn and potentially damaging sales phrases overnight. Try, though. Replace them with well thought-out and more neutral sentences. Remember – don’t push, don’t condescend and always empathise. Soon you’ll develop a way of speaking with leads that really garners results.

Try it out.

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