10 Things Salespeople Should Never Say to Prospects

10 Things Salespeople Should Never Say

“You’re Kidding, Right?”

Normally I’m pretty upbeat and positive, but today I need to share some advice about what not to do. I recently had an interesting interaction with a sales rep who simply couldn’t believe that I didn’t want to buy what he was selling, and he really crossed the line.

I know that succeeding in sales takes plenty of confidence and the ability to work around “no” on a regular basis, but crossing over into ego-land is a bad idea. Talking down to prospects or insulting them is generally NOT a good approach. Neither is being disingenuous or dishonest.

With that in mind, here’s my “Top 10 List” of things sales people should never say to a prospect (and why):

Top 10 Phrases Sales Reps Should Avoid

  1. “You’re Kidding, Right?” – No, I’m not.
  2. “Trust me…” – An immediate alert that the next thing I will hear is a lie.
  3. “So, tell me about your business…” – Do your research first, and don’t waste my time.
  4. “How could you not want…[what I’m selling] – You might think it’s great, but I know my business and it’s not a fit.
  5. “Sorry, I forgot to include ___ in your quote.” – That’s your problem, not mine. Check your work.
  6. “If you don’t buy today, the deal is off the table” – Artificial pressure doesn’t work.
  7. “You’d be crazy not to take this deal!” – Really? Passing would probably be a smart move.
  8. “Maybe I should speak to your boss.” – No, I’m the buyer, and if you don’t convince me, there’s no deal.
  9. “Sorry I’m late, [I got lost, traffic was awful, etc.] – There’s no excuse unless you called. Get directions and arrive early.
  10. “My boss will [kill me, fire me, have a fit] if I don’t get this deal.” – So sorry to hear, but that doesn’t make me want your product.

So that’s my list. What would you add to the “never say this” list?

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