Sales is a language game. Salespeople use words to demonstrate value, identify business pain, create a sense of urgency, and close deals.
Too much depends on chance, deals are lost because of words -- using any of the phrases is a major mistake.
1. "Sorry to bother you."
There are two fatal mistakes here: an apology and the insinuation that you're being interruptive.
2. "I'd like to connect."
Why? Are you going to offer free advice (something you should do), or are you going to start hard selling the minute your prospect picks up (something you shouldn't)?
3. "I thought you might be the right person to connect with."
There's no excuse for not knowing who the correct point of contact should be. Even a simple LinkedIn skim should tell you what a prospect's responsibilities are.
4. "Could you direct me to the right point of contact?"
This request is usually the follow-up to #3. It's bad etiquette to ask your prospect for a favor because you haven't done your job.
5. "Is it a good time to connect?"
Well, is it? That depends.
If you're calling to advise your prospect on a problem they're having and you've demonstrated that you are a source of valuable information, it's a great time to connect. If you haven't established value, it's a waste of your prospect's time. Instead, lead with what you hope to offer your prospect.
6. "Can I tell you about ... ?"
Nope, you can't. Instead, be so helpful that your prospect naturally wants to know more. If you have to ask whether it's okay to talk about your product, you haven't provided enough value.
7. "Just checking in ... "
Any communication you have with your prospects should have an objective, and "just checking in" isn't good enough. At minimum, you should provide a reason for checking in.
8. "I'd like to have an informational chat."
What you (hopefully) meant: "I want to learn more about your business pain, so I can provide advice and a potential solution."
What your prospect heard: "I want to give you an elevator pitch."
9. "Touching base"
Like "just checking in," "touching base" isn't necessarily bad if deployed in the right context. But if you aren't providing new information or following up with new information, there's really nothing for you to "touch base" about.
10. "I wanted to / I'd love to / I'd like to / I need ..."
Any sales phrase that starts with what you want is a no-no.
11. "Are you the decision maker?"
This phrase is flat-out insulting to prospects.
12. "To be honest ..."
This phrase sets off alarm bells for savvy buyers. Were you lying before?
13. "Trust me."
"Trust me" is almost as insidious as "To be honest." Your prospects will trust you if you've proven yourself over time, not if you passive-aggressively tell them to.
14. "Do you have budget for this?"
While the budget question is certainly important, bringing it up too early can unnecessarily hamstring
15. "It's really easy to understand."
You might be trying to reassure your prospect, but what you've really done is set yourself up to condescend to them.
16. "That's not what I meant."
Don't ever be defensive.
Many prospect objections are simply requests for information.
"The ROI of our product is an average 25% increase in LTV and over 100% retention while decreasing CAC by 30-40%."
18. "I'd like to tell you about our product."
Your prospect's knee-jerk response to this statement is, "Oh, you do? Too bad."
Their annoyance is justified.
19. "What if I said ... "
Want to avoid sounding like the stereotypical, sleazy salesperson?
20. "So you're not interested in [insert benefit of your product/service]?"
This is a classic sales line. Your prospect says, "We're just not interested," or "We don't have a use case for it,"
21. "You should know X about [competitor] ..."
Never bad-mouth a competitor. It's tempting, especially when a prospect shares information they received from a competitor you know is untrue.
22. "Actually, that's not true."
Similarly, when prospects develop their own wrong ideas about your product/service, that can be tough to swallow.