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Six Phrases to Avoid if You Want to Close Deals

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Six Phrases to Avoid if You Want to Close Deals

The best salespeople succeed because they care about the details, including everything they say to a lead.

This checklist includes the six things the best sales professionals NEVER say because they know they’re deal killers.

1. “Trust Me.”

Saying “Trust me” is a sure way to cause the opposite: a complete lack of trust.

It reminds seasoned consumers of carnival barkers or the salespeople they used to see in late-night cleaning supply infomercials. Younger people recall today’s worst social media pitches.

“Trust me” comes off as passive-aggressive, disingenuous, and even a little sleazy. It makes you seem like you’re glossing over something rather than addressing it.

The best selling is all about establishing trust in a very short amount of time. You must prove to prospective buyers that you're a trustworthy, helpful, consultative, and knowledgeable resource, whether on the phone, in a Zoom meeting, or in person.

If a prospect trusts you, there’s no need to say, “Trust me.” If they don’t trust you, you have a more significant issue to address.

Instead of turning to “Trust me”, do the hard work and earn the trust of the people you’re selling to.

2. “To Be Honest…”

Think of “To be honest” as the less-reputable relative of “Trust me.”

This phrase will make prospective buyers feel that everything you said before uttering it was NOT honest.

Honesty must be at the heart of any sales conversation. Buyers must FEEL that you are trustworthy. It's not something that should need to be communicated. When you clarify that now you're telling the truth, you throw all of your other conversations into a suspicious light.

3. “We May Be Able to Do That.”

There is always a definitive yes or no answer when someone asks if your company can do something. There's no room for “might,” “maybe,” or “probably” in sales.

It's okay to be uncertain about some aspects of your business. However, it’s never acceptable to gloss over a prospective customer’s questions. If you’re unsure about something, be direct about it and provide a clear and reasonable timeframe as to when you can provide an answer.

Don‘t undermine yourself or your company's credibility by waffling or giving an incomplete or incorrect response. If possible, find someone who can get the necessary information for you while the prospective buyer is still present. Once they hang up the phone or leave, they will likely move on to a competitor who can respond to their concerns faster.

4. “Who Is the Decision Maker?”

Asking this of prospective customers could potentially be received offensively and it could turn someone off if they are not a decision maker. It’s also an issue if you’re speaking to a couple of buyers or a group, making the non-decision makers feel unimportant or unheard. It’s even worse if everyone has a vote in the buying decision.

Always make everyone you sell to feel heard, cared about, and important. This approach will make it more likely that you’ll close deals.

5. Industry Jargon and Acronyms

Marketers and salespeople are immersed in their industries. They’re familiar with the specialized terms used in them. However, the acronyms and phrases might seem foreign to prospective customers.

Never assume your prospects are familiar with industry language, even if yours is a B2B company selling to others in the sector. Another complicating factor is that most people are too insecure to ask about things they don’t know about. Find ways to explain concepts simply so everyone can understand them.

6. “We Don't Usually Do This…”

Making exceptions could seem like a good way to transform a lead into a buyer. It might make the customer think you’re doing them a special favor. It could also, however, make them wonder: “How many others have they said this to?” This could force them to question your honesty. You’re always better off making honesty and trust a top priority by clearly following rules that apply to all customers.

Eliminating Ineffective and Detrimental Sales Language: The Final Word

The phrases listed in this article share some common themes: They can cheapen your brand and destroy consumer trust.

That’s why it’s critical to avoid these phrases in all sales situations. Replace them with messaging that presents yours as the valuable, consultative brand prospects trust and will ultimately want to buy from.

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