Banish These Hackneyed Lines From Your Sales Talk

We've all heard them - the sales clichés that turn off customers. You may even be guilty of some yourself. These trite approaches sound persuasive, but they're so obvious that most prospects feel you're insulting their intelligence. Pay attention to your conversations, and strike anything that sounds like this: 

  • "What's it gonna take?" You sound like a stereotypical used car salesman: "What's it gonna take for you to drive home one of these cars today?" 
  • Obvious questions. "If I could show you a way to save 50 percent on your long-distance bills, would you be interested?" The listener knows what the "correct" answer is but feels treated like an idiot. 
  • Presumptive questions. "I'm not sure you would agree that ..." Unless you're a mind reader, you don't really know what customers think - until you've asked them. 
  • Forced appointments. You ask the prospect to choose between two dates for a sales call before offering any reason to meet with you: "I've got some office supplies I think you'd be interested in looking at. I can stop by your office at 10 a.m. Thursday, or would Friday afternoon be better for you?"
  • Answering questions with questions. You are supposed to ask your prospect a lot of questions, but eventually you have to answer a few of them yourself. If the customer asks, "Can you deliver it Tuesday?" don't respond with "Do you need it by Tuesday?" Try something like "We can schedule deliveries whenever you need them. I take it speed is essential to you?"

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