9 Phrases to Delete from Your Sales Pitch (& What to Say Instead)
You only get one shot to make your sales pitch a home run.
If you lose your client’s attention along the way, or you say the wrong thing during your pitch, your client is going to run straight to your competition. People are stubborn, and when they’ve made up their minds, there’s not much you can do to patch things up.
So if you’re looking to kick your sales strategy into high gear and make that one shot count, the first place to look is the language you’re using. No, I’m not saying you should speak Portuguese to make your client happy… unless your client happens to be Portuguese, in which case, do it.
There are certain buzz words and expressions that can bring your pitch from a ten to a zero in no time at all. So try to avoid using the following phrases.
“Just following up”
When you say “just following up,” it immediately implies that you’re only interested in this sale because it’ll make you money. Even if that’s true, keep in mind that you’re offering your client a solution to their problems.
It’s also unnecessarily redundant. It’s like saying “this is a message that I’m using to get back in touch with you.” So instead of wasting their time with three worthless words, re-iterate the value of what you’re trying to sell. It’ll remind the client why they should be interested, and keep them hooked.
“Do you have any questions?”
There are two main problems with this phrase. One, it takes the pitch out of your hands. When you give your client the floor, it puts pressure on them to find something wrong with your pitch. You’re the active party in this conversation, so keep the ball rolling.
The second issue I have with this phrase is that it implies you didn’t do your job correctly. The whole point of a pitch is to give your client all of the information they need to make a decision. If they need to ask you questions, it wasn’t a strong enough pitch.
So turn this phrase into an advantage by replacing it entirely. If you say “what do you think?” instead, you can find out what else they need, and switch up your strategy to compensate.
This word has no business being in a sales pitch. What, were you lying to them before? Did you decide to start telling them the truth just now? What a weird way to waste their time.
Salespeople use this phrase as a half-hearted transition between topics for emphasis. But honestly, it’s just filler that shows you lack confidence. Add emphasis by making an impactful case for your deliverable and stop beating around the bush.
“Best in class” and “Innovative”
Phrases like these are sort of like “comfort food” in the world of sales. You know you shouldn’t use them, but it’s accessible and it gets the job done. But much like actual comfort food, it can seem like the easy way out while there are much better options.
Clients hear the words “innovative” and “quality” at least twelve times a day. Everyone frames their products and services as “the best,” because no client is going to settle with anything less. But as a salesperson, it’s your job to convince them that it’s true.
Find why your deliverable demolishes the competition and drill that advantage into their brains. Metaphorically, of course—I refuse to be responsible for any impromptu trepanation.
“Let me check with someone on that”
As a salesperson, you’re the authority on every aspect of your deliverable. If you need to check with someone, you immediately throw your authority into the trash.
And if you need to take time to speak with someone else, you automatically need to schedule another meeting with your client. This can lead to schedule conflicts, loss of interest, and eventually, a lost sale.
Instead, come prepared, use your best judgment, and give your client all the information they need to stick around.
“How are you doing?”
Salespeople use formalities as a way to artificially gain a connection with their clients. Surely they won’t see you as a ravenous hyena scrounging for sales to meet your quota if you open with a quick “how do you do?”… right?
Unfortunately, your clients know what you’re contacting them for. So, to keep them hooked, you need to make a connection in your pitch. Weave some of their pain points into your presentation, keep your language casual, and repeat their name often. But don’t force a conversation that only exists to waste their time.
In order to understand how detrimental this phrase is, imagine if your client said “you’re welcome.”
When you thank your client, you imply that this sale is a one-way transaction. As I had mentioned with “just following up,” you’re offering your client a solution to their problems. So don’t “thank them” for their time or their business. Help them realize why this opportunity is important for them.
There are two scenarios where salespeople use terms like “maybe,” “might,” or “I think,” and both of them make me grit my teeth. Imagine if your client had a make-or-break question about your product and you respond “maybe.” They immediately think that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and you added no value to the conversation.
Or, you mention how your deliverable “might” make their Q2 their most successful quarter yet. Yeah, but is it possible that it “might” plummet their sales into the ground?
Uncertainty kills sales, so have confidence in your product and stick to a simple “yes/no, and here’s why…”
The key is to stay confident.
The one thing that all of these phrases have in common is that they show a lack of confidence in your pitch. If you don’t believe in your product or service, what makes you think your client wants to?
You have the one product or service that can change your client’s life for the better, but you’re the only one who can make them feel the same way.