Dear ToddCohen.com Sales Community-
It’s time for “Todd’s List of Annoying Sales Talk”…or something like that. I actually just invented this today after hearing a speech where the presenter answered every question the same way by starting with “I want to be frank with you” or “I want to be honest here.” Seriously, folks, how many times have we as sales professionals started to answer a question posed to us by a client with something that sounds like “Let me be honest” or “Can I tell you the truth?”
We all do it, and we are all guilty of using these awful starters when in fact we are not being dishonest or disingenuous at all. The issue with using these type of phrases is that they cast doubt in the client’s mind that you are actually being truthful. The rub here is that we all do this as more of a reflex than anything else! I actually think that using these starters is some sort of infraction of the “Sales Professionals’ Code of Conduct” and should be banned!
So, what can we sales professionals do? Well, a little more diligence about what we say is always a good start. We can make sure that we are listening carefully so that as we answer a question, we start with the answer and not this sort of preamble. It’s fairly easy, and it just takes practice. The next time you find yourself saying to a client “I want to be honest with you,” STOP, look at your client, and own the fact that you started this way. ‘Fess up, have a laugh with your client. You will earn more respect if you don’t sound like everyone else and you are aware of your words!
As always, let me know what you think…and of course be honest with me!