Whether you’re doing a full-blown sales presentation or a small soft sale over the phone, here are six things you should never say to customers.
Some of them suggest you came into the situation unprepared, others show you don’t respect the customers’ time and patience, according to sales expert Kevin Eikenberry. But all of these are things that can kill your credibility with customers.
Maintain your credibility
Here’s what you don’t want to say:
- “As you can clearly see …” Never assume customers can see or understand what you want them to digest. Instead, explain your point in detail — and if you’re doing a presentation, use a visual to help. But don’t use it as a crutch for customers to stare at rather than listen to you.
- “I have a lot of information to cover, so let me get started.” Customers will likely turn off their ears if you set them up for an information-dense, long litany. It’s like saying, “Let me start boring you.” If you have a lot to cover, break it down into multiple shorter presentations, and schedule them out.
- “Sorry for the technical difficulties.” If you’re doing a sales presentation, check the equipment before the audience arrives. Always be prepared to present without your computer and other tech items in case they aren’t working.
- “You might not be able to see this, but …” If customers can’t see, hear, smell, read or experience anything you intend for them to, then don’t make it part of what you’re presenting to them.
- “I know I’m running out of time, but let me run through these last few things.” Manage the time you have — whether it’s a few minutes on the phone or an hour-long presentation — so you can cover everything in that slot. Rushing through anything is unprofessional and going over the time allotted is disrespectful of customers’ time.
- “Any questions?” End strongly with your own, planned words. Encourage questions throughout so you can wrap up with the most important points.