by Ryan Taft
Anyone else besides me believe that the sales process has changed pretty dramatically over the past decade?
Silly question, right? We all know that customers research, decide and buy differently today than at any other time in history.
But let me ask you this: Have salespeople adapted accordingly? Or are we still using the same old sales tactics we learned years ago?
If you attended a sales training during in the 70’, 80’s, 90’s, or even the early 2000’s you probably learned to focus on the fear of loss. And you probably learned some snazzy lines that were sure to push your prospect off the fence.
Good luck with that today. If that is your approach, then I’ve got some pretty sweet pick up lines for you to use the next time you hit happy hour at the Regal Beagle with Jack and Chrissy.
With that in mind, let’s purge these cheesy sales techniques once and for all!
Here are six cheesy sales lines you need to eliminate from your vocabulary IMMEDIATELY:
Phrase #1: “Are you the decision maker?”
Holy cow. Seriously? Salespeople use this as a qualifying question. But to “qualify” for what?
Okay, maybe this person is not the ultimate decision maker. But they are the person talking to you right now and will clearly play a role in the transaction – either as a decision maker or as an influencer. So move on, already – you’ll figure out who else needs to get involved at the appropriate time.
Furthermore, when a man asks this question to a woman, it sounds pretty dang sexist to boot. Either way, this question gets you nowhere fast.
Make the assumption that the person in front of you is the decision maker and if not, he or she will let you know.
Phrase #2: “What’s it gonna take to get you to buy today?”
I visualize a poorly dressed salesman with a comb over hairdo pulling up the belt loops of his pants as he says this. This statement might be the epitome of sales cheese. What’s it gonna take?? How about helping me rather than manipulating me?
Phrase #3: “I know how you feel…”
You may know this as the Feel, Felt, Found method. And yes, I know I am stepping on some sacred cows right now, but stick with me here.
Imagine you are selling real estate and the customer objects to having power lines so close to their home. The minute you say, “I know how you feel”, you instantly lose credibility.
Why? Because you aren’t the one writing the check here and the odds are you really don’t know exactly how they feel.
Instead, find stories to share about other customers who dealt with similar issues. Real life social proof will go a lot further with your customer than your make-believe empathy.
Phrase #4: “Let me tell you about…”
Salespeople have believed a really bogus lie for far too long. What’s the lie? “If you aren’t talking, then you aren’t building value.”
This philosophy causes feature dumping and turns off your customer big time. Instead of feature dumping, stop yakking for a minute and ask your customer what they like and what stands out to them.
In other words get your customers feature dumping! It will sound far more interesting powerful when they do the feature dumping themselves.
Phrase #5: “Here is what I love about (insert product)”
I hate to break it to you, but the sale is never about you. Too many times, sales people turn a customer-centric conversation into a salesperson-centric conversation.
Ask your customer what they love and then run with it.
Phrase #6: “If I could show you… (a great product, meet all your needs, etc.) …would you be willing to purchase today?”
Can’t you just smell the cheese here? Ugh!
Salespeople presumably use this technique to gauge the buyer’s level of interest and, more importantly, how much time the salesperson should spend with them.
Sounds like a good idea, right? Wrong. Here’s why:
This is a well-known sales technique and, like General Douglas MacArthur once said, “A tactic known is a tactic blown.” The moment you speak these words, you send a message that says this conversation about earning a commission and not about satisfying your customer.
So why even ask this question? Asking this question could very well stop the sale and you should never be the reason the sale stops.
It is time for us to grow beyond the sales scripts handed down on stone tablets thousands of years ago. Let’s get back to being human beings, enjoy normal conversations with our customers and focus on changing someone’s worlds!
By the way, if you can think of any other cheesy phrases or sales lines that we need to eliminate, please post them with the hashtag #salescheese. Together, we can conquer the cheese!