Written by Dave Goates, Director of Human Capital
Last week we gave you the first four things to NEVER, never say on a cold call — here are the last four. These are only eight examples. If you listen carefully, you’ll be able to come up with more.
Remember: Words matter, how we employ correct language makes all the difference in sales call success.
5. Never, never say: “I was just wondering. . .”
Reason: This is double jeopardy — there’s that “just” word again, and “wondering” is almost as oblique and vague as a directionless call can be. You’re demonstrating no clear purpose or conviction, like you’re fishing in an ocean with a sinker.
Try this instead: “I have a question for you,” or “Your company meets the profile of companies we work with.”
6. Never, never say: “Keep us in mind.”
Reason: Great salespeople never aspire to be an order TAKER, they would rather be an order MAKER. Saying “Keep us in mind” is pathetically weak, like it’s the last thing you say when the sale is lost. Take control of the conversation, don’t be a limp conversational noodle.
Try this instead: “When can we get back together again to discuss your thoughts?” or “When will you be reviewing your alternatives next?” or “I’ll circle back in a few months to see what’s changed.”
7. Never, never say: “Buddy, Bud, Bro, Honey, Darlin’, Dearie, Dude, Sweetie, Sugar”
Reason: I’m not singling out anyone here, but there are certain parts of the country where all these alternative names are perfectly acceptable. However, on the phone they are (or should always be) taboo. It is ALWAYS good protocol in any situation to use a person’s name, particularly when it’s the first contact. NEVER make the assumption that you can call a potential customer by an alternate title. You appear to be over-reaching to establish a personal relationship with a stranger and it’s not as acceptable as you think if you use these phrases habitually.
Try this instead: ALWAYS use the person’s real NAME! If you don’t know it, don’t be bashful – ASK!!!
8. Never, never say: “Hey, Bob, I know you’re busy, Bob, but Bob, let’s chat for a minute Bob.”
Reason: Do NOT overuse their name on a call. A person’s name is their favorite sound, but when you overuse it you come off as faking it and wearing out the welcome mat. Don’t sound fake and insincere. Remember, “That’s my name, don’t wear it out!”
Try this instead: Use their name early in the conversation to establish that you know who they are, and then pepper it sparingly and use it when you close the call.
Watch your language! If you find yourself using any of these statements, you should stop immediately!
Whether you are working inbound sales calls, outbound sales, business development, or on the floor, be aware of your language! These non-starter phrases will doom for your hopes of winning new customers.