Cold calling and pitching products are not easy tasks, even for the most experienced sales person.
Sometimes it’s a matter of saying just the right thing. Other times, it’s a matter of what not to say.
So sales intelligence platform Gong.io used machine-learning to try and make the art of closing a deal a little easier. Gong’s data science team analysed over 519,000 business-to-business sales calls, intended to sell cloud software products, and found 13 words that depressed the odds of closing a deal.
Take note salespeople of the world, here at the 13 words never to use during sales calls.
1. Show you how
This is a tricky one. Gong found that using this phrase one to three times during a call had no negative affect, but when it was used four times or more, close rates dropped by 13%.
The potential buyer wants to know more about why they need the product, not the intricate details of how it works.
2. We provide
When a prospective client hears these two words, they tend to put up walls. They are so overused during a sales call that people hear them as a sales pitch, tune out, and close rates drop 22% when used four or more times in a call.
Using this word during a sales call makes it less likely than average that the deal will move to the next steps or close at all.
Senior director of product marketing at Gong, Chris Orlob, thinks the phrase comes across as abrasive.
A number this big is just too much for a human brain to conceptualise — you can’t attach an image to a million of anything, and the point you’re trying to make gets lost.
Dropping this word during a sales call will lower your chance of closing the deal by 17%. Instead of making the deal more attractive, you end up lowering its value. The product you’re trying to sell should be worth a lot — it’s awesome, remember?
Using “roadmap” will instantly drop your credibility. It isn’t likely you actually know your company’s roadmap that well, and by using the word you’re promising something you have no control over.
Saying “contract” inspires people’s worst fears. Using the shutter-worthy phrase during a sales call decreases the close rate by 7%.
8. Absolutely and Perfect
These words are OK in moderation, but using one or both of them more than four times per call decreases close rates by 6% from the average.
9. Free trial
This phrase is also heavily overused. It’s not as big of a deal breaker as the others, but it still causes a 5% decrease in close rates.
10. Implement and Implementation
Both of these words sound like they require a lot of work. Trying using something more low key like “getting started” to put your client at ease.
No matter what the context, this is not a word anyone wants to hear. Orlob suggests using something gentler like “amount” in the sales context.
As with absolutely and perfect, this word is OK to use in moderation, but use it four times or more and you’ve just lost yourself a deal.
13. For example
t need an example, the prospective buyer should be able to understand what they need the product for and see themselves using it. This is an especially big deal killer if the prospect has just watched your demo.
If you’re using this word in a pitch, try changing the wording, or the demo, to help them automatically imagine how they would use the product.
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