Two Little Phrases for
Salespeople to Avoid
By Joel Saltzman

       Just as there are certain words you can't say on radio or TV, as a salesperson there
are two little phrases better left unsaid.

       Last week, after I thanked various salespeople for their help, no less than three of them replied by shrugging, "No problem." Frankly, I don't care if it was a problem. I'm giving you business here. I'm putting food on your table!
       What I want to hear is someone who's grateful for my business. Telling me it's been "no problem" for you is not what I call inducement to return.

       True Story: A few years ago, I went to buy a bulletin board for my son, so we could hang up his art work. The salesperson asked about my son and we even talked a bit about kids and their artwork. I thanked him, he thanked me, and I left that store feeling great.
        Not every sale has to include a down-home chat or a sit by the fire. But a few friendly words -- even a "Thanks for the business" -- goes a long way.

       Next up? Never complete a sale by telling your customer: "I hope it works out."
       Repeat after me: "Never say the words, 'I hope it works out.'" Instead, learn to cap each sale by letting your buyer know he's just made an outstanding purchase. You'll feel better. He'll feel better. He may even return one day to make another outstanding purchase.

       True Story: After graduating college -- and knowing nothing about the real world -- I demonstrated my lack of knowledge by buying a car from a used car salesman. Handing me the keys he said to me: "Heck, if you want to sell this baby a couple of years from now just take off a few hundred dollars and you'll sell it in a second." Imagine how good that made me feel, knowing I had made such a smart purchase.
       Instead, I wound up sinking a fortune into that car just to keep it running. Still, every time I brought it for repairs I kept hearing that salesman's words, reminding myself what a smart purchase I had made. All I had to do, I'd tell myself, was get this one-more-repair out of the way.
       In the end, I sold that car to Bruno's Junk Yard Emporium. Bruno handed me a check for twenty-five dollars, patted me on the back, and said: "Son, you've just made a very good deal!"


Joel Saltzman is a speaker, facilitator, and consultant who teaches people in business to Shake That Brain! - for winning solutions AND lots of fun. Look for his latest book, Shake That Brain!, to be published by Wiley 2/06. Joel can be reached
in San Diego at (619) 543-9432 e-mail:
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