Closing the deal on a sale is an exciting and intimidating process. You need to be able to close deals in order to justify your employment. When you do close a deal, that brings in money — and potentially a long-term customer — to your business. It can also give you a thrill of victory.
But it’s important not to get too cocky or too antsy as you come near the end of closing the deal. You may have it nearly in the bag, but you want to take the next steps carefully to ensure things actually go through. So, what are a few words and phrases you never want to say?
This is a common phrase in casual conversation, so it’s easy enough for it to slip into a sales conversation. However, it could cause you to lose some of your credibility. “To be honest with you” in a sales situation could imply that you haven’t been honest until now. Customers are already wary of being manipulated by salespeople, which could make them suspicious. Instead, just convey your point honestly and without a preamble.
“We offer the lowest prices — guaranteed.” “Our service is the best, guaranteed.” “Our team has the most experience in this industry.” These are big claims, and you might think they sound nice. But they’re also very easy to verify with a quick internet search. The truth is, there’s a good chance that someone has lower prices than you do, and “best” is a subjective term with too many variables. And if your team doesn’t have the most experience in the industry? Lying about it won’t do you any favors.
Only make claims like this if they can be backed up. If you have a price match policy, tell your customer that. If your team has x years of experience, tell them that. The specifics will serve you better than broad, sweeping claims, anyway.
Of course, you have competitors, and of course, you want the customer to choose you over choosing those competitors. However, badmouthing the competitors to your customer might not be the best way to do it. This could seem like a petty look for you, and again, any claims you make can be easily verified by an internet search. If you make a claim that is too outlandish, and it gets back to your competitor, they might even try to bring a defamation case against you. At best, you risk making the customer curious about your competition.
You don’t have to talk about your personal preferences in closing the deal. It can be tricky to tell your customers that you don’t use the product you’re trying to encourage them to sell. They’re always going to wonder why and they may see that as a bad sign. Of course, they might ask you what you think personally. If you can, try to focus on talking about what aspects of the product you like — even if you don’t use it. Do not, under any circumstances, badmouth the product or service you’re trying to sell.
These phrases sound considerate, again in casual conversation. However, if you are trying to close a deal, you need to project confidence. You need to clarify that this deal is as beneficial — if not more beneficial — to the customer as it is to your company. “I’m sorry for bothering you” prefaces that this sales conversation is a burden to get through rather than an opportunity.
The truth is, sometimes you’re not going to know. You should never give customers false information in order to seem certain, especially because if they find out that’s not true, they won’t feel inclined to work with you. But “I don’t know” can be tricky territory. It can give you the appearance of lacking authority or credibility. They might think, “If this person doesn’t know, maybe I should find someone who does.”
What you want to do is help them find a solution, even if you don’t know the specific solution yourself. A possible alternative could be to say, “I don’t have that information, but I will put you in touch with the department that does.” You could offer to get that information for them — if this is something that you offer, however, try to get back to them as soon as possible. Every second they go without the answer to the question is a second that they might walk away.