Top Ten Things Not to Say in a Sales Call

Props to Brad Trnavsky, who posts Ten Things a Good Salesperson Should Never Say, and Why.  They are short, sweet, and on the money.  Click through to check it out.

Have you ever found yourself saying, "I was in the neighborhood, thought I’d drop by?"  My chimney sweep company does that.  It’s rarely true, and probably doesn’t fit your business. 

Of course, the grand-daddy of them all—trust me.  I won’t do that rant again just now—Trust Matters readers know that one.

The one that caught my eye and prompted this quickie blog, however, made me wince. "What would it take to have you get started today?" 

Ouch.  Only about a year ago, I got a call from a woulda-been perfect client—a business I know well, a speaking engagement right up my alley.  We had a great conversation.  I quoted my full regular rate.  The client said gee, I dunno, limited budget for this event, etc.  And I—with all good intent, really wanting to help him out, and willing in fact to take a hit on this one if I had to, said, "Look, what would it take…"

He, quite rightly, said, "Wait a minute.  Your book talks about the need to maintain transparent and consistent pricing, and never to offer discounts except in clear specific cases.  And here you are discounting.  You have just destroyed my trust in all you’ve said."

Damn.  That’s one between the eyes.  And I had to admit that my good intentions couldn’t save me here, he was exactly right.  I told him so, we parted, never heard from him again.  100% my fault.

That’s my read on one of  Brad’s points anyway. Good comments on his posting too.  Go check them all out, see if any make you wince.

0 replies
  1. Eric Brown
    Eric Brown says:

    Thanks for the link to Brad’s post…very informative info.

    Over the last month I’ve been doing some consulting for a large IT Outsourcing organization and I’m amazed that the sales force uses a lot of the items Brad lists.

    One of the most amazing things that I’ve seen in this organization is that they are willing to go to the "What will it take to get your business…" line very quickly with a client.

    I was amazed when a sales lead delivered an RFP response to a large manufacturing company with the following introduction (paraphrased of course):

    "Here’s our proposal…if it is too high, let us know what it will take to win your business"

    Needless to say, we didn’t win that business.

    My response to the sales lead after leaving the client was that we should have known what it would take to win that business before responding to the RFP.  A great salesperson spends their time building relationships so that they know exactly what their client is looking for.


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