Over the past few months I have been making a mental note of the mistakes that sales people tell in their sales promotional e-mail or the opening sentences of their sales pitch.

I hope you are agree that these errors can really stick in your throat as it is not ideal to try to begin a customer relationship with an invention or a fib….

customer service

Things you should never say to customers

Here are some of the most toe curling examples:

  1. “I hope you are well.”

This platitude usually appears as the first line of the sales email.  Surely if you don’t know me personally, it’s absurd to claim that you care two hoots whether I am at death’s door or leaping up and down with joy.

  1. “This is not a sales pitch.”

This sounds like a politician at a podium or on TV starting a sentence with: “I’m not going to spout on party lines with well-rehearsed sound bites….”  We know what happens next and as regards our example we all know it’s a sales pitch, and it’s absurd to insist otherwise and it is more insulting to my intelligence to pretend you’re not pitching.

  1. “I will not try to sell you anything.”

Oh Yes! If you take this statement purely at face value…..if you’re not selling to me, why are you then wasting my time?  Why would anybody in a business context want to speak with a salesperson who isn’t selling something?

  1. “I am certain you will be [excited|pleased|interested]…”

Really?  You’re certain that I will have a pre-defined emotional reaction to whatever you’re selling?!? Please avoid this term as it immodestly indicates that you have the power to read people’s minds and so why are you working in a sales job?

  1. “There is no obligation to buy.”

While there may be no legal obligation for me to buy, we both know that you’re going to set up the situation so that it’s very hard for me not to buy and the fact that you’re providing something for free obligates me morally to buy?

  1. “I was just re-visiting my recent contacts…”

What you really mean, of course, is that my email address has magically appeared on my list of prospects and you’re calling me out of the blue! Please don’t make it seem as though we are bosom buddies.

Please let’s vote to have these tired old statements consigned to the memory banks and leave them back where they belong… in the sales days of old but please don’t replace them with text speak or smiley faces as this equally can gets your prospects wound up!  If you want your customers to trust you, start by always telling the truth and some plain speaking.