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Ditch those useless expressions when trying to win the sale

If you want to improve your sales techniques – and these days, most of us sell something – consultant Andy Horner, on the Ace of Sales blog, says you need to replace six clueless sayings:

  • “I’m just checking in to see if you have any questions.” Anybody can see through this smokescreen opener. Instead, try, “Can I get an update?”
  • “Is there anything else I can do to win your business?” This admits you haven’t inspired sufficient trust for the client to level with you. Replace it with: “What one thing would you change about our product that would make it close to perfect?”
  • “Do you know what we do?” This opening line at trade shows and networking events admits you aren’t well known. The replacement turns the focus on the prospect: “Tell me what you do.”
  • “Thanks again.” Replace this meek ending in e-mails following up from first meetings with: “What’s the next step?” or “When can we meet again?”
  • “Are you still interested?” Since they haven’t contacted you, they clearly aren’t very interested. Give them new information or fresh ideas that may enliven the relationship: “Here’s a new idea for you. Take a look and let me know what you think.”
  • “Great to meet you. I’ll give you a call.” Instead of closing your first conversations with this meaningless phrase, try something like, “I’m going to contact you very soon – be thinking about this …” or, “If I could help you do [x], how much more [y] would you have? I’ll call for your answer.”
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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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