No one wants to fall flat during a sales pitch, but unfortunately, it happens. You can prevent a pitch mishap by avoiding certain phrases, according to a recent Inc. article by Geoffrey James. He shares nine phrases that should be left out when pitching to a prospect, and below, are a few examples:

  • “I apologize in advance for…” An apology is NOT the way to start a sales pitch, as it immediately lowers your audience’s standards. If there’s a snafu, instead of opening up with an apology, adapt to the circumstances, maintain your confidence and give it your best.
  • “Our product/service will save you time and money.” Honestly, how many times have you personally heard this from a salesperson? It’s an overused, cliched line that has probably lost all value to your prospects.
  • “We have the highest quality product and best customer service…” This line comes across as baseless self-promotion. If you want your prospects to know you offer quality and provide fantastic customer service, SHOW them via testimonials, awards, etc.
  • “Our product has the following comprehensive list of features…” Do not endlessly rattle off a list of features, hoping that a few are relevant to the prospects. “Clueless salespeople use feature lists in the hopes that something will ‘stick’ and match a real customer need,” James writes. “ These ‘spray and pray’ sales pitches force customers to mentally map what you’re selling into something that they might need.” Instead, do your research prior to the pitch, uncover what features best fit the prospect’s needs, and highlight only those that are relevant.

You might not even realize you are possibly jeopardizing your pitch by using these common phrases. Consider James’ article the next time you plan a pitch; by simply avoiding these phrases, you can add even more value to your words and boost your image in the eyes of your audience.