As most of you know, I am a big fan of Jim Meisenheimer, the Sarasota, Fla.-based author and sales trainer I often quote. The following are some words Meisenheimer recommends that you NOT use on sales calls.

Are you guilty of using any of these words or statements when communicating with your customers and prospects?

Meisenheimer reminds salespeople, "Words are the ultimate sales tool."

  • "Hey guys." Try "Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon."
  • "How soon do you need it?" The typical answer to this question ? "ASAP" ? is the kiss of death for operations. Try: "We can get this material out to you by 2:00 PM tomorrow. Thanks for the business."
  • "I'm the new sales rep for ____________." How about, "My name is ___________ and I represent ______________ company."
  • "To tell you the truth…OR "I'm going to be honest with you…" This phrase is usually nothing more than a bad habit, but it does always make me wonder if the person has been less than truthful up to now.
  • "I was in the area…" This statement doesn't help the salesperson at all and may even make the prospect believe he is nothing more than an after thought.
  • "Are you the decision maker?" INSTEAD, say, "Who in addition to you will be involved in the buying decision?"
  • "Are we price competitive?" Or, "How does our price compare?" Propose your price with confidence.
  • Try to use the word AND instead of using the word BUT.
  • "What do I have to do to earn your business?"
  • Try to avoid using the word QUOTE. INSTEAD, say, "SALES PROPOSAL."
  • "Did you get the information I sent? Did you get a chance to look it over? What did you think?" INSTEAD…say, "I'm calling to get your reaction to the proposal I sent you last Thursday…"
  • "Don't hesitate to call me…" Or, "Feel free to call me…" INSTEAD…say, "If you have any questions or if you're ready to take the next step, call me at ____________"

(I inserted some of the comments following the words not to use in an attempt to customize for our industry.)
Recommendation: Check out Jim Meisenheimer's eBooks on Amazon.

Contact Bill Lee at 864-303-8366, or email: