Telemarketing Software Featured Article

For a Real 'Win-Win Scenario,' Strike 'Best of Breed' Cliches Out of Your Sales Vocabulary

September 30, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

While corporate minions everywhere often giggle at the idea of “meeting-BINGO,” a game that can be played during executive talks to listen for trite words and phrases such as “win-win scenario,” “right-sizing” or “knock this thing out of the park,” it’s distinctly possible for customers listening to sales pitches. Ever fond of the sports analogy, sales professionals often sound like an eye-rolling bundle of clichés whose use of language seems designed to do everything but really communicate with the customer or prospect.

If you’ve ever been guilty of using the phrases, “eating our own dog food,” “calling to touch base” or “best of breed solution,” consider eliminating those words from your vocabulary entirely. Along with “have a nice day” and “unique,” they’ve become so overused as to be utterly meaningless. They’re a substitute for meaningful discourse, and if you’re having to resort to them, it may be about habit, or may be because you simply have nothing to say.

“If you want to really help your leads understand that you have something special to offer them, you need to be purposeful in your speech,” wrote Logan Strain for Business2Community. “To paraphrase a line from the film The Dead Poets’ Society, ‘Language was invented for one reason — to woo prospects — and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.’”

“Just calling to touch base” is so common, you can almost put your money on the fact that it will be used during the course of nearly any conversation with an American sales rep. Sales professionals can replace this one either with brutal honesty and say, “I’m really calling to find out whether you’re going to stop dragging your heels and buy something” (probably not a recommended approach) or replace the worn-out phrase with something a little less trite and indicative of duty. Strain writes that the phrase makes him feel like a hospital patient watching a night nurse eyeball him and write “not dead yet” in a chart before moving on to the next bed.

“Do you have some new information that might help the prospect make a decision” Strain wrote. “Is there a deal or sales promotion you just learned about that only a fool would turn down? Great. Ring them up. Are you just calling them in case your boss checks how many calls you made today? Then think of a better reason to reach out before you put your headset on.”

Strain writes that it’s baffling that so many sales professionals still rely on these trite, meaningless phrases today, and it may be indicative of the need for a career change, or at least a serious realignment.

“These are phrases that are used so often and so mindlessly that no one knows what they mean anymore,” he wrote. “They’re mostly useless. But they still pollute email inboxes and voicemail with the sloppy words of salespeople who’ve shifted into career autopilot-mode three performance reviews ago.”

Get off autopilot by making a list of the words and phrases you use that are the language equivalent of dust bunnies. Ditch the sports analogies – not only are they tired and overused, but not all prospects are going to get them – and consider replacing these phrases with meaningful language that helps customers and prospects understand that you really are looking out for them. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson