When you’re in front of the decision-maker, you need to be the solid professional that would encourage them to listen to you, absorb your ideas, answer your questions and accept your recommendations.
Sometimes, as salespeople, we feel we have to build rapport with buyers in ways that add humour or make us break the ice with them, but sometimes the way we do it can sound crass or bumbling in nature.
We recommend you do build rapport but in a professional and skilled way. Trying to get the buyer on your side with phrases that just grate will cause you to be seen as unprofessional and, in some cases, just silly. These six phrases below should be dropped from your vocabulary:
“I just wanted to introduce myself and my company”
OK, it’s good to be open and honest, but in all sincerity, the buyer is simply not interested in you or your company. This unimaginative opening tells the decision-maker that you are only interested in yourself. And using the adverb ‘just’ demeans the time you are asking of the decision-maker as well.
Find something more telling and imaginative that that.
“Are you the person responsible for…?”
What message does this send? That you haven’t even bothered to do any research and background investigation. The subliminal message it sends is ‘I haven’t had the time or the inclination to find out anything before contacting you, so stand by for an avalanche of questions’.
Always do your homework first.
“You’re probably aware that we are industry leaders in…”
So what? Being a leader means zilch if you can’t do something for this particular company! It subliminally sends the message that the buyer would be a fool if they didn’t buy from you. And it makes them feel a fool if they weren’t aware you were market leaders.
Even if you are market leaders, drop this boasting liturgy from your vocab.
“I’m just checking in with you….”
In the USA, this is known as the ‘probation officer’ approach. Checking in? If you don’t have anything of any value to offer, don’t make contact!
Checking in gives the signal you are wanting to take an order. You’re not interested in their business and you don’t have anything to offer, so why should the buyer be interested in you?
“I’m from X and we have some great offers on at the moment…”
Immediately, you’re telling the buyer you are price-dropping and that’s the only reason they should be talking to you. You have no idea if they would be interested in you; you’re simply saying, ‘buy from us because we’re cheap’.
Unless your business is to trim your margins to the bone and only deal in transactions, confine this opening to the dustbin.
“If I could show you a way to….”
Again, this opening has been used by high-pressure salespeople for generations. It sounds like you are on the buyer’s side (at least you’re talking about their business) but it is also a pressure sales tactic, because which business wouldn’t like to ‘save money’ or ‘increase profits’?
The trouble is you get the buyer to agree and then they are pressured to go along with your suggestions even though they can’t see the benefits of doing so with you.
It’s another opening to avoid, as it is a typical arm-twisting opening.
These six phrases should be confined to the antique sales technique dustbin, and replaced by modern, up-to-date, business-oriented openings that make it clear you are interested in their business and not in trying to sell your products or services.
Learn more by attending one of our Sales Training Courses.