speech-bubbleSaying the wrong thing during a sales meeting can bring your pitch to a screeching halt. What’s the wrong thing? Here are five things you should never say during a sales meeting.

    1. “I don’t know” – In sales there is never a reason to say “I don’t know.” It makes your potential clients think, “If you don’t know this now, will you know the answer to a really important question once we’ve hired you?” Not to say you should lie (see tip #3), but you should use this as an opportunity to continue the conversation. For example:

Client: Can your company produce this part to our exact specifications?

You: We take great pride in working with our customers to not only build items to their specifications, but to also work with them to make their products better. What I would suggest is to have your engineers meet with our engineers just to make sure this is the right solution for you.

  1. Naughty jokes – Many sales meetings used to take place over drinks, in a dark bar, and dirty jokes were told to loosen everyone up. We can’t stress this enough: THIS IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE! Sure, you can keep things light during a pitch (there are plenty of accounting jokes that are actually funny), but dirty, off-color or racist jokes should never, ever be used.
  2. A lie – Some people will say anything to make a sale, whether it’s the truth or not. Don’t be one of those people. Everything that comes out of your mouth or you put on paper must be the absolute truth. If you lie to make a sale, you will be found out, and it won’t end well for you or your company.
  3. “Trust me” – Nobody who says trust me should be trusted. Trust is something that is earned, and maintained. Saying “trust me” makes you sound shady. Trust me.
  4. “I’m sorry, that’s my phone” – Shut your phone off! There are very few exceptions to this. If there is an impending medical emergency (wife might go into labor, family member having surgery, husband skydiving with his buddies) you can leave your phone on, but start off the meeting by saying, “I wouldn’t normally leave my phone on, but (place impending emergency here). I just didn’t want to miss the opportunity to sit down with you today.”

Do you have any things people shouldn’t say during sales meetings? Leave them in the comments below.