B2B appointment setting phrases of shame

Common words and phrases used for B2B appointment setting can harm your lead generation efforts and chase away sales opportunities.

Why do people work so hard to call call call to get Ms. Top Decision Maker on the phone … only to say words that are the equivalent of chasing them away with a baseball bat?

Let me share some of the nutty, ridiculous, time wasting, say nothing, just lump me in with all the other knuckleheads that call you and waste your time things that people say that chase away qualified prospects they have worked very hard to get on the phone.

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Script phrases appointment setters should avoid

Can you believe that people say things like this on business development calls?

Your time is important.

The reason I am calling today.

About saving some money.

How are you today?

Contacting you on behalf of my manager Lois Price.

Like to set up a brief meeting.

Do you have 10-15 minutes?

Get on your calendar for 10 minutes?

We work with companies just like yours.

The reason for my call today is.

I know you were not expecting my call.

I promise to be brief.

I’m calling to follow-up on a letter, email, …

I know you are busy.

Are you the person in charge of…?

We won’t take much of your time.

Do you have a minute?

Giving you a quick call to.

How about I call you back in a month?

Can I call you back in 3 months?

Why these appointment setting phrases are nuts

The first few seconds of the call are critical to them deciding whether you are worthwhile to talk to.

If they don’t perceive you as credible or if you don’t touch on a hot button that you can help them with, they will dismiss you.

What does saying these things do to contribute to their knowledge of how you might help them? Or, that you have enough credibility to be worth investing some time?

Nothing. They contribute nothing. So do not say them.

Plus, and most importantly, they diminish trust in you.

Your prospects have heard these phrases before, been enticed by them, and been burnt and had their time wasted. You seek to build trust, not diminish it.

So why would you say the same often repeated phrases that prospects know from experience are almost always untrue, exaggerated, have no basis in fact or just flat out lies?

You can’t build trust by faking sincerity.

“How are you?” You don’t know them. They don’t know you. Could this be less sincere?

“Have you got a minute?” Again, if they don’t know you, what you might help them with or how credible you are, why should they have any time for you? Don’t ask them for time until you have laid the proper foundation.

“I’ll be brief.” That is not a benefit or something worthwhile. The fact that you will only waste a little bit of their time does not score points. Plus, dozens of callers have said the same thing to them before and then ramble on endlessly, so they don’t buy it.

But the biggest reason saying things like that are self-destructive is they communicate nothing about your value or what you do. If the person you are talking to has a need you can fulfill…. You are giving them absolutely no information that enables them to conclude that you are worth listening to.

Another blunder…

I’m just calling to follow up on information sent to you.

Why is this nuts? What is the response you get 99.9% of the time? “I didn’t get it… I didn’t read it. Please send it again.”

So now, by your own choice of words you have immolated yourself. The call is over. Why would anyone do that? When speaking to the decision-maker, use language to secure the meeting instead of using words that may derail the conversation.

“I’d like to stop by and see you and will only take 10 minutes.”

If you are only worth 10 minutes of their time, you must not be worth much.

Self-destructive statement for two reasons. A. If you have nothing worthwhile to offer them, the fact you will only take 10 minutes is not a benefit. B. People buy from peers. What you are communicating with this statement is that their time is more valuable than yours. You should never project that. Don’t say things to lower your perceived value. If they have an issue with time, let them bring it up.

Saying things such as “I only need 10-15 minutes of your time” is the equivalent of being on your knees bowing while chanting “I am not worthy; I am not worthy” repeatedly. Why would someone that has expertise and great value to offer, diminish their credibility like that? Makes no sense to me.

“Can I call back and check with you in a month?”

Don’t do the cold calling work yet sabotage yourself

This is a great example of doing all the work and getting no results. Don’t ever suggest a time to call them back. Always let them suggest a time. Enable them share information about their future plans. You learn nothing from them if you ask them when to call.

A better approach… “No problem… don’t want to be on your back… but obviously we do a lot of this, can you suggest a better time to get back in touch with you?” Then be quiet. Let them tell you.

When they do suggest a time, say something like this… “Happy to do that, may I ask why that is a good time?”

See the difference? The first approach gives you no information to separate the hot prospects from the time wasters. By your own choice of words, you doom yourself to following up on multiples of people that will never buy. With the second approach, you enable them to tell you if they have a need and when it will be actionable.

Let nothing get between hello and your value

Keep these two points in mind. You always want to communicate value and enable them to tell you how to sell them.

Rip out any words that don’t directly contribute to those two objectives. Never say anything to diminish perceptions of your value.

Remember, if you say the things that knuckleheads and time-wasters say, they will perceive you to be a knucklehead or time-waster.

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