7 years ago
October 5, 2017

They Said WHAT?! 6 Things Salespeople Should Never Say to a Customer

As sales recruiters, we know there are certain things you should never say to a customer. But whether it’s a slip of the tongue or an oversight, they still get…

Rhys Metler

As sales recruiters, we know there are certain things you should never say to a customer. But whether it’s a slip of the tongue or an oversight, they still get said. When they are said, it can have a negative impact on your relationship with the customer, and you could even risk losing them altogether.

Here are some commonly used phrases sales recruiters agree you should NEVER use when speaking with your customers:

1. Sorry, I didn’t have time to prepare for the call

Yes, you may be busy. You may have only had a few minutes to prepare for your call, but don’t say this to your customer, even in jest. Telling them you didn’t prepare shows a lack of commitment. It also says to them you don’t think they are important. If you really are not prepared, re-scheduling may be a better option.

2. I need to close this deal

All salespeople need to close the deal. It’s how they make money. But saying this to a customer tells them a number of things. First, they have the upper hand. Second, they now know you are desperate to make a sale. Third, you may not have as much success or experience as you communicated. Either way, you put yourself at a disadvantage.

3. To be honest…

Uttering these words imply that you may have been dishonest previously. Even if you mean no harm (it is a common phrase, after all), you could cause your customer to question your motives. You could also lose their trust.

4. You don’t know what you’re talking about

Even if you completely disagree with your customer, never question what they know, especially if it’s in reference to their business needs. Rather than disagreeing, focus on creating other solutions that could help them. As they say, the customer is always right.

5. Just touching base

This is probably one of the most overused phrases in sales. Each time you contact your customer, you should have a purpose. Calling them to “just touch base,” says to them you are calling them ONLY because it’s part of your sales process. Plus, it could also be viewed as you wasting their time. So, when you call, explain the purpose of the call up-front.

6. Can I have a couple minutes of your time?

This is another overused sales phrase. It’s not that it’s a bad question, it’s just that it’s used so much that it could put the customer in defense mode right away. When you ask this question, they are already preparing themselves for a sales pitch.

In summary, don’t say these things to your customers, even if you may be tempted.


More Selling Tips from Sales Recruiters Here:

4 Unethical Sales Practices That Will Damage Your Brand

5 Fatal Sales Mistakes You Should Avoid


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit sales people in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right sales person for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.