During my tenure as a sales trainer, I’ve had the good fortune of working with hundreds of salespeople. One thing I’ve noticed is that top-performing salespeople speak differently than their less-successful counterparts.

Here are a few things I’ve never heard a great salesperson say:

“Are you the decision-maker?” Even if the person you’re speaking with is not the final decision-maker, it’s highly unlikely he’ll admit it. It’s much more effective to ask “Who else do you normally consult with on decisions of this nature?”

“My competitor is always cheaper.” It doesn’t matter what you sell, there will always be someone who can beat your price. Top-performing salespeople, however, get past price objections by demonstrating greater value than their lower-priced competitors.

“My territory is too big/small.” I don’t think any salesperson would say he has a perfectly sized territory. In most cases, salespeople have more than the ideal number of accounts. But complaining won’t help the situation. The key is to rate your customers and determine where and with whom to spend your time.

“I just wanted to follow up with you.” I will never dispute the fact that persistent follow-up is critical in sales. However, opening a call with this approach does little to build value. Follow up in a way that gives your prospect a reason to engage in conversation.

“I’m just calling to touch base.” See above. 

Great salespeople don’t waste time on negative thinking, making excuses or aspects of selling which are beyond their control. Instead, they focus on the steps they can take toward achieving their ambitious goals. 

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4 things top salespeople never say

Don’t ask this qualifying question

Do you talk down to prospects?