Worst Sales Script Phrases to Set Discovery Calls/Sales Appointments

When it comes to scheduling more discovery calls with high-probability buyers, there are a lot of people working very hard and shooting themselves in the foot.

It is unfortunate (ridiculous, actually) that someone would invest the time to dial, dial, call, voicemail and email. Then when a potential client who would love to hear about new options, work with a better vendor or solve a problem they have picks up the phone, at the moment of truth, the salesperson chooses words that CHASE THEM AWAY. Rather than choose words that enable them to conclude that more time with the caller or the caller’s company would be worthwhile.

Here is a laundry list of phrases that you should ban from your “set the discovery call” script.

That is, what you should not say when that qualified high-level decision maker you have identified picks up the phone, and you have less than few seconds to enable them to conclude that you are worth more time and ask them to meet.

In the end, I will share the two big misconceptions that drive salespeople to use phrases that chase great prospects away and four things that SDR’s get wrong about setting discovery calls.

How are you?
How is your day going?

You have seconds to communicate what you do, your credibility, how you help and what you want. In the most important first three seconds, you choose to communicate none of that?

Did I catch you at a bad time

Is this a good time to talk…

Do you have a few minutes…

Do you have a moment to answer a quick question about …

We can assume that people who can authorize big checks are busy. In fact, don’t we hear over and over again that “everyone is busy” and “no one has time?” So why waste precious seconds with a question you know the answer to? It makes you look like all the other knucklehead time-wasters that don’t get to the point, and turn control of the conversation to your prospect to boot? Makes no sense.

If your thought is that you are “nice” or respectful to the person you have interrupted, you are wrong. You have already decided to interrupt them. Respect them by saying something that would help them decide if you are worth more time.

I know you are busy, I’ll be brief

You “know” nothing. You sound just like many time-wasters that call me so why should I keep listening. And you are not brief by wasting seconds with verbiage that does not help me at all.

Just want to ask a quick question. Giving you a quick call to…

The reason I called is …

The reason for the call today is

Get to the point. Just say it. This drivel is not providing information helpful to your suspect. Precious seconds are wasted. Tick tock tick tock.

We help companies just like yours

You know nothing about us. The lies are starting already. If that is true, relate specifics so that they conclude that on their own. It is immediately discounted 100% and throws you in the same trash can with the other time-wasters. Particularly unfortunate when that statement is true. You turn off the prospect before you can get there.

Asking a question in your initial pitch, any question.

How are you handling that?

Would you like to save money?

If I could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing…

This will not go over well with the herd, but it is a strategic blunder for you to ask a question, or heaven forbid, multiple questions, during your initial 30-second or less set the discovery call pitch. When seeking to set a discovery call with a qualified prospect the only question, you ask initially is “would you have some time in the next week or two?” That is the only question at this point.

Your goal is to set up a meeting. Everything you say must relate to that goal. When you ask a question, they are now in charge. They rarely have the same goal as you at this point.

You must lay a solid foundation of clearly communicating what you do, your credibility, the value delivered and what you want. You must do that without exception first.

Asking questions derails that objective and puts them in charge. Once they get what you do and why you might be worth their time and what you want, then you have the option of maybe asking some questions, not until.

Are you the person in charge of …

Are you the person that handles X

Or worse…. I spoke to so and so who told me you were the person in charge of X. Is that true?

Most of the time you are calling someone that you feel is the decision-maker. Why waste precious seconds confirming something you already know. In the few cases where you are wrong, if you are clearly communicating what you do, the person you are speaking to will recognize that and redirect you. 95% of the time those are wasted words, and you are providing no info of value to your suspect in the most crucial first few seconds.

We provide the best, most affordable, unique, leading widget services

Stay away from any hype words. As prospects don’t know you, any hype words you use are immediately discounted 99%. Initially, Stick to fact-based statements they will not immediately discount.

I this, I that, I want, I, I, I.

Nobody cares about you. Rip out every “I” or “we” you can from your scripts. Rephrase to a “you” perspective.

We want to get to know your business and see how we can help you.

What we would like to do is…

What we would like to do is meet with you and see what kind of value we can provide …

Nobody cares.

Looking to find 15 minutes to meet, discuss,

Among the most common example of sales prospecting malpractice, shoot yourself in the foot, steal defeat from the jaws of victory in discovery call setting land.

If you are saying this, you need to work on your self-esteem. If you are not worth their time the fact you will waste only 15 minutes is not a benefit. If you are a worthwhile credible, trusted advisor who can deliver desired outcomes to me or my organization and has valued information to share that is helpful for us to hear, why are you worth only 15 minutes? It must be because you are not worth it. Bye.

You diminish your value in the eyes of your best prospects when you drivel out this phrase.

If top people have an issue with time, they will ask

Four reasons why these worthless phrases are used.

  1. Callers think they can out-nice the competition.

Don’t get me wrong. You are always professional and courteous in your communication, never rude, never pressuring. But you make a mistake confusing being direct with being rude, too-salesy (don’t get me going) or pushy.  You think that if you are super nice, nicer and more considerate than the rest, that it will win you some points. It won’t.

You win points among BUYERS with a well prepared pithy pitch professionally delivered that enables a busy decision-maker to decide if you are worth more time.

  1. Callers fear annoying someone, so they do verbal backflips not to offend.

Here is a bulletin. You have already decided to interrupt them. The same verbiage that will be welcomed by those most likely to buy, those that recognize a need and understand what you do, your credibility and value you deliver, will be rejected by those with no needs or happy with their situations.

Adding verbiage that communicates no helpful information at all to BUYERS, so that you can have more comfortable conversations with those who will not be receptive to your message is not helping you. In fact, your effort to “not annoy” is increasing the annoyance you create.

In the same amount of time, you spend groveling and apologizing, beating around the bush and trying not to annoy you could say something worthwhile. So that those you speak to can “get it” and say “yes” or “no.” That is being respectful to your prospects.

  1. You are not trying to set a discovery call with everyone you speak.

You should be focused on those you speak to who are BUYERS. A buyer is someone who if they heard the right things would write a check or change vendors.

Not everyone you speak to is a buyer.  Only a small percentage might be. Stay focused on choosing words and phrases that would enable BUYERS to conclude you are worth more time. FORGET THE REST.

When you water down your verbiage or delay getting to the point to have a more comfortable conversation with those that will not meet or buy, you are diluting your message to the buyers. You, with the verbiage and behaviors you choose, have chosen to deliver a weaker watered down message to BUYERS, in the hopes that non-buyers might be less annoyed. Makes no sense.

  1. It is not your responsibility to convince anyone of anything

Relieve yourself of the burden of thinking you have to set a meeting with everyone you speak to. That is the wrong mindset. It is your job to work a total system so that you bump into more qualified prospects at the right time. And when you do bump into them, you deliver the words they need to hear to conclude you are worth more of their time. Some will, some won’t. Next.

Hope these phrases and comments challenge your thinking and help you rewrite your scripts.