7 Things Successful Sales People Never Say

What’s really interesting about we humans is the fact that, even though we don’t like to admit it, we are judgmental beings.

Often we don’t view ourselves as being judgmental; we consider ourselves to be realists. A situation occurs and we decide whether it is right or wrong, good or bad, black or white. Where do those ideas come from? From our programming and conditioning, that’s where.

We are conditioned to identify what we consider to be right based on our experiences, our values, our standards and our rules. Every other person on the planet has had different experiences from you, and so will have different values, different beliefs and, hence, different judgments.

For instance, when you say, “You shouldn’t do that!” you are coming from your own judgments and rationale. You’re weighing up the situation, determining what you would do in a similar spot and then balance up whether what is done instead lives up to your standards or rules.

It’s natural. It’s human. It’s ‘us’ being ‘us’.

So, are there some things that salespeople should never say? Isn’t that being judgmental just asking the question?

Well, in a way, yes. However, when you see the ideas below, you will probably agree these are things that shouldn’t be said because clients and prospects will probably judge us negatively if we did. And that’s the main reason. Not because we consider them to be right, but because the majority of our clients would say they are wrong.

Let’s face it, all clients use judgment to determine if the like you, believe you, have confidence in you and trust you. What you need to do is to lower the resistance by shying away from phrases or words that will cause judgments to rise up in the first place.

Take a look at some of the things salespeople should never find coming out of their mouths:

– “Trust me!” Really? Do you need to tell me that? Your words are worthless if you don’t prove trustworthy. It’s pointless asking someone to trust you if you haven’t given them reasons to do so. Demonstrate you are trustworthy; don’t tell them!

– “How are you today?” after opening a cold call. Please! Leave that to the slimy, smarmy toothy-grinned salespeople of yester-year, who thought that it built rapport with a stranger. These days it screams out the message “I AM GOING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING!!!”

– “What will it take to earn your business?” Err…give me a free sample? This antiquated question lost it’s power when the first transaction took place in Antique-Land. It puts so much pressure on the prospect because it’s asking them to do all the work. They have to think about what ‘deal’ they would take. Instead you should be building the value so that the prospect sees that accepting your offer is the best thing to do for them and/or their business.

“This is a limited offer” yeah right! This smacks of all those furniture store closing-down offers, only to spring back, phoenix-like, from the ashes of despair, making customers feel cheated. If it really is a limited offer, build value first before you discuss price. Limited offers come and go…they don’t have the impact they may have had in the 20th century (such a looong time ago!).

- “I give you my word” Hah! The cheese monster rises from his lair again. Another is “My word is my bond”. If you have to say these sentences, you are thinking words have a greater affect on people than deeds. Prospects want to know WHY they should trust you. Just saying it doesn’t make it right or true.

“What do you think?” Eh? Surely there’s nothing wrong with this one? After all, isn’t asking for the opinion of the prospect a good way of discovering their needs and wants. Yes, of course, but this isn’t the way to do it. The question creates logical triggers. It’s better to ask how the person feels about the situation. Thinking is rational, left-brained in its drivers. ‘How do you feel about this?’ gets the person to go deeper into their thought patterns, and connects to the emotional decision-making process.

– “Let me be honest with you!” What? You mean you weren’t being honest  before? I know that seems far-fetched, but the subliminal message that gets through is that everything I’ve said up to now is questionable…I am going to be honest with you from now on!

Successful people don’t say these phrases because they don’t want to give the other person even a glimmer of a reason to doubt them or question their professionalism. Think things through before you say things that might cause you to regret it afterwards.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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Sean’s Guide To Blagging – Erhum, I Mean Thinking On Your Feet!

We’ve all been there….

You’re at a sales meeting with a prospect and you’re asked a question or for an opinion that completely throws you off guard!

You feel uncomfortable, you stumble through an answer and you go away thinking everyone thinks you’re stupid and that you’ve blown the deal!

The fact is, some people can think on their feet and come out with what seems to be well prepared answers whilst others find it difficult.

The people who find it difficult normally call the people who find it easy “blaggers!”

So, let’s assume that you need to blag, erhum, I mean think on your feet more often – here is a neat little tip that you can use:

Prior to attending your sales encounters, identify questions you might be asked and how you will answer them. After a while, this practice will become second nature to you.

If you are asked a particularly difficult question, repeat the question to buy yourself some time but
don’t make it obvious and don’t do it everytime either!

Sometimes when you’re asked a question requiring a detailed answer, try constructing your answer with a brief three-part approach.

Begin with a comment on the background of the issue, followed by the current situation and then speak about possible future outcomes. This simple structure can be extremely valuable when you are caught off guard.

So, in summary:





“I heard that your company were in a legal battle with a client over the product you are offering me today?”

REPEAT THE QUESTION or ACKNOWLEDGE THE STATEMENT “Yes you are 100% correct, we are in legal case with a client”

“…the client in question refused to have our engineers install the product. They did it themselves and broke the generator etc etc”

“…they have now realised and acknowledged that they were to blame etc etc”

THEN SPEAK ABOUT POSSIBLE FUTURE OUTCOMES “…a great lesson came out from all of this. Even though we were not at fault, some good came out of it for our clients. All future installations made by our engineers will now be free of charge.
No other supplier offers that”

See what I mean?

You can turn even the most horrible questions around with a little structure to your thought process and answers.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

Telephone: 0800 849 6732

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