Salespeople beware: Your words can kill a cold call faster than the prospects’ “no.”
Some words and phrases turn off prospects before you can make it past your intro.
Fortunately, some words and phrases work like charms when it comes to cold calling.
10 things you don’t want to say during a cold call
But first, here are 10 things you don’t want to say in cold calls.
1) Is now a good time? Honest prospects will say, “No!” and you don’t even get to introduce yourself.
2) I’m sorry for bothering you, but … If your call is a bother, and you know it, you’re just rude. Never apologize for doing your job.
3) How are you? It’s a filler more than anything. You’ll likely get a terse “Fine.” It doesn’t build true rapport and wastes the little time you have to open the conversation.
4) You know? (or it’s close cousin, Right?) Asking a prospect for verification is dangerous business. You make cold calls to gain acceptance. You want to be confident about what you present. So don’t ask questions at the end of statements.
5) Just. I just wanted to introduce myself … I just want to tell you about … I just thought I’d … “Just” minimizes your intentions. Say clearly what you want.
6) You should … People don’t like being told what to do, especially in a cold call situation.
7) Contract. Big commitments – like a contract – are a turnoff at any point in the sales process. It’s a killer in a cold call.
8) Cheap. Everyone wants something that has “value” or is “cost effective.” No one wants something that is “cheap.”
9) Touching base (or it’s close cousin, Checking in). Neither are useful for any conversation in the sales process because they suggest you don’t have anything valuable to deliver. They’re especially useless in a cold call because they suggest you talked prior when you didn’t.
10) Trust me. Even if you offer the most honest deal or most accurate facts ever, saying, “trust me,” screams the opposite: You aren’t trustworthy.
10 things you do want to say during a cold call
On the flipside, these words and phrases work well in cold calls, warming them up and intriguing prospects:
1) Thanks for taking my call. Simple. Honest. And it doesn’t give prospects the opportunity to shut you down.
2) Can you help me? This works especially well with gatekeepers. They’ll likely say, “I can try” or “Yes.” Then you can ask, “What’s a good time to reach (your prospect)?” Or “How much of a challenge is (your value proposition) to your organization now?”
3) Yes. Your yes increases the likelihood that prospects will say it too: Agreeability breeds agreeability. Positive words like “yes” also help build rapport and open minds. Say it as much as possible when appropriate (and avoid “no problem”).
4) Because. It almost always leads to a reasonable explanation and adds depth to the conversation to strengthen your credibility.
5) Customers’ names. Don’t overdo it by plugging it in at the end of every sentence. But use it enough to keep prospects’ attention and heighten their interest.
6) If. This word helps people imagine the outcome that is your goal. Bring the situation to life by saying, “If X happened, would you be willing to do Y?”
7) Visit. “We’d like to visit with you,” is more casual than, “Can we set up an appointment.”
8) Fit. This suggests you want to make sure your solution is right for prospects, not just make a sale. “Let’s see if this is a fit for you.”
9) Value. Everyone is looking for value in life and work. Say, “I’d like to see if can bring more value to what you’re doing.”
10) Thanks. Thank them for their time, taking your call, interest, honesty, patience …