Avoid These Words That Kill Sales

Blog, Sales Vocabulary

From the mailbag:

“Art, an email I received from a vendor, in response to a question we asked about a policy issue, started out with, ‘You’re not going to like this, but …’

“I continued reading, now feeling bitter. However, what was said was really nothing more than what we already knew and expected. I would love to see your take on something like this. A piece on the things we do to sabotage ourselves when all we were intending to do was soften the cold hard reality.”

OK. Good idea. Let’s look at a few.

Pointing Out Negatives They Probably Wouldn’t Notice
I was talking to guy about some training for his small business and mentioned I visited his website. He immediately apologized for some things (which he perceived as negatives) on the site I hadn’t even noticed. After he mentioned them, I pulled up his site again and they stuck out like a big zit on a nose. I guess I didn’t notice them the first time.

Some people obsess about things that no one other than them would ever see. But, when they’re highlighted for us, then we tend to see them. For example, are there red cars in the parking lot outside your building. There. Now I bet that you’ll look for them.

And we probably don’t even want to get close to this one:  “Do I look fat in this?”

It’s All in the Positioning
I remember years ago when my kids were little, their mom made the comment, “I’ll let the kids know that they have to stay at Grandma’s house tonight since we’re going out.”

Of course she didn’t intend that to sound negative, but sometimes we say things that can be interpreted differently than we intend (to say the least!). Leaving nothing to chance, I told her that I would tell them.

So, I put a different spin on it:

“Kids! Guess what? You GET to go spend the night at Grandma’s!”

“Yay!”, they screamed.

TMI (Too Much Info)
I’ve heard many-a-sales rep talk too much about facts irrelevant to what the prospect/customer cared about. The danger here is creating objections.

A sales rep handled an incoming call where the buyer asked for information on a new calculator model he was looking to carry in his catalog since he had heard good things about it. Understand now, that the inquirer was interested in placing a large order right then and there for an initial shipment. Things were progressing smoothly until the rep added, “Now of course, these don’t come with the AC adapter.”

The prospect immediately changed his tone and said, “Hmmm, I didn’t really expect them to, but now I’ll have to think about this a bit.” Lost sale.

Here are a few others:

Instead of,

“I’m just calling today …”, use,

“I’m CALLING today …”.

Instead of,

“So you probably don’t want to buy?”,use,

“Shall we move forward with the delivery?”

Instead of,

“I imagine you’re not looking for another vendor?”, use,

“What plans do you have for a backup vendor in case you need something and your present source doesn’t have what you need, when you need it?”

Instead of,

“Well, it is expensive, the price is …”, use,

“You’re getting (benefit) and (benefit) and it’s only…”

Instead of,

“I’ll have to check on that for you.”, use,

“I’ll be happy to research that for you.”

Instead of,

“I’ll try to get to that,” use,

“I will personally get that done by tomorrow morning.”

I have just scratched the surface here, and I’m sure there are plenty that sound like fingernails across a chalkboard. (I just realized that some people reading this might not have ever seen a chalkboard.)

If you have sabotaged a call with a phrase or question, or have a pet peeve, please share them.



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