Prospects May Misinterpret These Common Phrases

BY Jessica Helinski
Featured image for “Prospects May Misinterpret These Common Phrases”

Do your prospects think you’re trustworthy? The answer may surprise you. Only 3% of people consider sales representatives to be trustworthy! Reps may not be aware of how much impact their words have, and they may be discrediting themselves by using certain phrases. Aja Frost, writer for the HubSpot Sales Blog, highlights 26 phrases that reps often say that prospects may misinterpret. Here are a few from her list:

  • This isn’t a sales pitch.” Regardless of a rep’s intentions, hearing this phrase immediately makes the prospect prepare him- or herself for a pitch.
  • I’ll only take five minutes of your time.” Even if the rep plans to quickly address the prospect’s issue(s) in five minutes, the prospect likely assumes the rep will keep talking well past the five-​minute mark if given an opportunity.
  • Can I speak to the decision maker?” When reps say this, they usually are trying not to waste anyone’s time. But, the prospect may feel that it implies he or she isn’t important.
  • Don’t you like saving money?” This phrase can come across as condescending. Even if the rep is genuinely asking, it likely will insult the prospect.
  • How are you doing?” This generic canned greeting doesn’t relay any feeling of genuine interest.

Frost urges reps to reconsider using these cliched phrases because prospects can misinterpret them, casting a shadow of distrust over the rep. Try to find other ways to communicate that are more straightforward and less emotionally manipulative. As Frost writes, “the more straight-​forward you are, the greater the chance prospects will hear exactly what you mean.”