You've screened out leads, had the initial phone conversations, and done all of the prep for your sales presentation. Take some time to role play and think about what you're going to say, and not say, so that you have a successful meeting with your prospect. Here's a list of 5 things never to say on a sales call if you want that lead to turn into a customer for life!
1. "Well, I didn't have a ton of time to prepare..."
You might as well pack up your bags and walk out of the customer's office. Saying that you are unprepared sends the message that you don't value the prospect's time and that this appointment really isn't that meaningful to you or your company. This is not a good message to send! To avoid blurting this out, take time to prepare and list possible objections and concerns that you think your potential client might have and use some of the information that you already have from previous calls or data that you have about them from your social media tracking. Then write down some ways to overcome these possible objections and some solutions to offer in the event that these issues come up. If you're truly caught off guard say something like, "That's a great question and I'm glad you asked. I don't have that specific information with me, but I can follow up when I get back to the office. Should I call you with the info or email it to you?" Keep control of the call and any future follow up that you'll have to do with the customer to ensure that the sales process moves along.
2. "If I could show you a way to save money, would you be interested?"
This question is a set up and unfortunately, both you and the prospect lose on this one. Turning the attention to money and cost automatically puts the customer in a mindset of having to haggle and ask for discounts. And it puts you on the defense when the customer starts negotiating every line item and looking for other ways to "save money". Stay away from this kind of language and the discussion of costs and fees until the end of the meeting and your customers have sold themselves on the value of your product or service. If you've done your job correctly and focused on how your company provides a solution to the customer's problem, price shouldn't be the focus of the conversation.
3. "Are you the decision maker?"
Don't undermine or offend the person you are meeting with by asking this question. It immediately makes the prospect feel unimportant, and makes it seem as if you don't respect their position. Of course, you do want to know if all of the key players are in the room, or if you're speaking to the right person on the phone so that you don't waste everyone's time, but how about something like, "Who else will be participating with you in making this decision?". It's a tactful way to find out who the real decision makers are and how many additional people you'll need to speak with before the ball gets rolling.
4. "We'll get back to that later"
When a prospect asks a question, don't delay in answering it. Address the issue head on and acknowledge their concerns. This immediately gains you respect in their eyes and makes them feel like their issues are valid. If you truly feel like answering the question will require a complete overhaul of your presentation and derail you completely, give a brief response with something like, "I'm glad you brought that up. I have some information on (ABC) that addresses that specific concern you're asking about and we're going to cover it a bit later when I walk you through the steps of (XYZ)." Putting the client at ease with a brief acknowledgment is appropriate; just make a note to come back to the issue when the time is right to show that you're paying attention and care about their concerns.
5. "When should I follow up?"
Definitely do not leave the next steps in the hands of the customer - unless you want to delay the process even further! Based on what you already know about the prospect's schedule, suggest a time and a date that you will call or follow up with them. Say something like, “It’s going be about (a day, two days, a week, etc.) to get this started on my end, how about I give you a call on Thursday at this time; does 1:30pm work for you again?”. Get a firm commitment from your prospect and keep control of the time line. Definitely don't let them decide or else it will get put at the bottom of their to-do list, which is not where you want to be!
Get some practice and role play through some different scripts with a trusted colleague or your sales manager. Take these phrases out of your vocabulary and focus on some sales skills that will get you the business and on the path to success!