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The Kiss of Death:
Phrases and Questions that Will Kill Trust and Lose Sales

In the information economy, the language and phrases you use will either advance your cause or cost you support, trust and sales. The following are my favorite annoying stereotypical phrases, statements and questions that will identify you as an amateur, narcissist, self-serving and company-centric salesperson. Some of the following are merely trite and others are very counterproductive in building trusting relationships.

    “We want to help you find a solution to fit your ‘needs’.” -- So cliché

    “How are you?” -- Unsolicited chitchat doesn’t work as well today

    “Is Tuesday at 8:00 good for you or is Friday at 3:00 better?” -- Old school

    “Would you like it in red or blue?” -- More old school

    “You do want to save money, don’t you?” -- Leading the witness, and insulting

    “Are you the decision maker?” -- Overbearing

    “Is it okay with you that I keep in touch with you monthly to see if anything changes?” -- Needy

    “I’d be happy to send out some literature on our exciting new product.” -- Just as needy

    “Let me be honest with you.” -- The other times you weren’t?

    “If I can show you a way to solve your problems today, will you be in a position to buy?” --

    Of course they’ll say yes. It’s too easy.

    “We’d like to partner with you.” -- Too cliché

    “I wanted to see if we could be of help to you.” -- Just as cliché

    “Did I reach you at a good time?” -- You sound like everyone else. Too subservient.

    “We can give you a better price. Can I send you a quote?” -- Commodity seller

    “Thanks for taking time to meet with me.” -- Too subservient

    “I’m not trying to sell you anything.” -- Yeah… right!

    “I wanted to tell you about our new product.” -- Who cares about you?

    “My solution is the one that best fits your needs.” -- Says who?

    “I know how you feel. Many have felt the same way. Most have found…” -- Not bad, if everyone didn’t say it.

These old school techniques were probably effective during their time. In today’s business climate, customers so often don’t extend salespeople the benefit of the doubt. An old school phrase or question here and there and you’ve lost rapport. This is why customers in general don’t see salespeople as equals and worthy of their precious time. Some of these phrases aren’t so bad, but they are so overused that you start to look and sound like everyone else. And that is the “kiss of death” in sales.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com