3 Sales Thanksgiving Turkeys

By Tibor Shanto

While the president may be set to pardon a turkey today, I am not sure we should be so generous when it comes to some offences committed by some in sales.  While we may not be willing to pardon or forgive, it seems worthwhile to look at some turkey moves sellers, at times including myself, make in the course of their day.


While there are many words used in sales that should be banned (not just from sales, but the planet), there are some that are just irritating and either confuse buyers, or put them off completely.  I have written about “empty calorie” words in sales, words like ‘productivity’, ‘solution’, or ‘efficiency’, and others.  I think we have done a good job of eradicating the use of ‘synergy’, we now need to apply the same discipline and focus on eliminating the word ‘Awesome’.

It seems you cannot get on a phone with a customer success rep, or an SDR, who does not think that knowing your own name is Awesome.  I know I may show my age here, specifically older than the age 5, because I do not see every day things as being ‘Awesome’, I just see them a s day to day.  I understand that they are trying to be positive, which may merit a pardon, but it does not merit engagement or a sale.

Stop saying awesome in response to the most mundane things, move to the issue at hand, you don’t have to say anything; it is much more impressive to a prospect or client to have their issue dealt with, than be rewarded for knowing their name.

Doubling Down On Your Channel

People are different, not in the big ways people like to talk about, but in small specifics, where there is no right or wrong, there is just the way the prospect choses to do it.  Specifically, here, I am speaking about modes of communication.

This is why I do not understand why sales people and pundits limit the channels they use to communicate, rather than explore all the channels available, and then develop a pursuit plan that includes all.  My friend is a big ‘texter’, I hate it, if you want to talk to me, your best shot is phone, if you have time, snail mail, if not – email, text may be fourth.  But that’s me, but when I sell, all that means nothing, the only thing that count is the buyer’s preferred mode.  So rather than refining your favorite mode, work on all available, and figure out which turns on your buyer.

Stop Telling Me About My Business

On a weekly basis, I get a call from a rep, who spends time telling me about my business, what my challenges and opportunities are, and why their product is the best to deal with it.  Few of the things they talk to are accurate, and reflect their view of my business.  They rarely relate to where I am trying to go, and usually speak to ‘current state’ things.  I understand what they are trying to show and get to, but they never get.  They would if they just did things differently.  Take those same assumptions behind their statements, and turn them into questions.  If I get the question right, I get bonus points in the form of advancement; if I get it wrong, I have plausible deniability, I did not bet on a path, but tested it, allowing me to test other alternatives when one proves to be false.

Nothing heavy, figure you got that with your Thanksgiving meal, but something to think about as you digest.