9 Phrases Great Sales People NEVER Use

Here are a few phrases I have noticed that great sales people NEVER say. See if you find yourself using any of them.

1. “The economy is preventing me from hitting my targets”

The economy may not have fully recovered but plenty of buyers and decision makers are still making purchases. The key is to give them a compelling reason and to demonstrate exactly how their company will benefit from your solution.

2. “What will it take to earn your business?”

I can’t believe how many people use this question and my automatic, knee-jerk, mental response is “If you do your job properly and I need your solution, I will buy from you.” Sales people earn business by clearly demonstrating an understanding of their prospect’s needs, wants and situation. And by positioning their solution in terms that make sense to their prospect.

3. “Is price the only thing holding you back?”

I shudder every time I hear this. So many sales people quickly assume that price is the primary reason people make buying decisions. Although price is a factor in every sale, it is seldom the primary motivating factor. BUT…if you bring up price early, it will become more of a focal point in your conversation.

4. “What do you know about us?”

You might think this is a great way to open a conversation and start telling the prospect about your company. However, telling is not selling. It is much more effective to ask people and questions engage them in a conversation.

5. “Are you the decision maker?”

Even if the person you are speaking with is NOT the final decision maker, it is highly unlikely they will say, “Uh, no, I’m not.” It is much more effective to ask, “Who else do you normally consult with on decisions of this nature?”

6. “The competitor is always cheaper”

It doesn’t matter what you sell there will always be someone who will beat your price. However, top-performing sales people get past price objections be demonstrating more value than their lower-priced competitors.

7. “My territory is too big/small.”

I don’t think any sales person believes that they have a perfect sized territory. And in most cases, sales people have more accounts than the ideal. However, complaining about this doesn’t change things. The key is to rate your customers and determine where and with whom you should be spending your time.

8. “I just wanted to follow-up with you.”

I will never dispute that persistent follow-up is critical in sales. However, opening a call with this question does little to build value or give your prospect a reason to engage in a conversation.

9. “I’m just calling to touch base.”

See above.

Great sales people don’t waste time on negative thinking, making excuses or aspects of the sale that are beyond their control. Instead, they focus on what they can do to achieve their goals (which are usually higher than those set by management) and they take consistent action to achieve those targets.

What about you? What other phrases do you think great sales people NEVER use? I’d enjoy hearing your perspective.

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