Friday, July 10, 2015

Avoid These Five Phrases When Meeting With Leads

Meeting with potential clients is a crucial step in event planning,  a "make-or-break" moment for the event professional. In-person meetings give you the chance to really make a connection with someone, beyond advertisements or marketing.

While these initial meetings are certainly full of opportunity and possibility for both you and the client, you must remember that your mindsets, demeanors, and approaches are likely to be quite different. Your client may be tentative where you are intent, cautious where you are certain, and static where you are spirited.

Confidence and a strong sense of self go a long way, but don't forget to be aware of and receptive to your audience's needs. For instance: if your client is being tentative, scale back the volume and reduce your movement a bit; if your client displays an eager enthusiasm, be sure to match her energy. Don't get so caught up in the sales pitch and the product that you forget about the reason you're there -- the client.

To help you along, we've collected some sales pitch phrases that you should absolutely avoid when meeting with your client. These phrases can quickly derail your conversation and jeopardize your business, so beware!

1. “We’re much cheaper than they are.” 

Don’t say your product or service is “cheaper” than the competition; sure, it's good to let them know you aren't overly expensive, but this sounds like you are of a lower quality than your competitors. By using the word “cheap,” you run the risk of making your leads feel like you consider them cheap.

Instead: Words like “cost-effective” and phrases like “more value for the money” are infinitely better than “cheaper.” Better still: pitch your product or service so well that they are not even thinking about cost.

2. “I’m not here to sell anything.”

Prefacing with a denial that you’re selling something is a surefire way to communicate to your lead that you are, without a doubt, selling something. Setting up defenses before even pitching your idea immediately places the potential customer in an adversarial position. Needless to say, this is not an ideal tone for a sales pitch. (It’s like a child telling her parents, “I didn’t do anything wrong, but…” -- you know it’s not going to be good news.)

Instead: Just present your service or product in a sincere, authentic way. A straightforward and honest conversation will put your potential customer at ease much more effectively than making denials.

3.“Trust me.”

Again, when a potential customer hears this, a red flag is going to pop up in her mind. She has already given you a degree of trust by listening to what you have to say. Your job is to build on that trust. If you present yourself with honesty and with passion, the trust comes naturally.

Instead: Don't tell me to trust you; show me why I should trust you and your service or product.

4.“Allow me to introduce…”

This phrase sounds very affected and showy. Instead, just go ahead and start talking! As we have seen, a lot of prefaces (well-meaning or otherwise) are damaging to your sales pitch.

Instead: Open with a question. Ask the lead what service or product she has been using. This way you have an “in” and you more organically become part of a two-way conversation. Ditch the cheesy phrases -- let the client tell you what she needs and respond accordingly.

5. “Oh, [the competition]? They’re incompetent fools, just terrible…”

There’s nothing wrong with being confident that your product or service is superior to the competition -- but relying on attacks indicates a lack of faith in your own product. If your product or service is so special (and it is!), there's no need to disparage someone else. Positivity trumps negativity every time.

Instead: Don’t risk coming off as cruel or desperate; instead, just focus on what makes you the best. If the competition comes up, give the facts and speak honestly about why you feel you are the better choice -- but don’t slander your competitors. Be classy!

When you’re ready to meet with your leads, consider keeping track of their details with Inspherio, the all-in-one event management program. Inspherio provides access to everything event professionals need: tools for record keeping, payment, employee payroll, inventory, scheduling, promotion, and planning are all conveniently located in the same place. Try our free 30-day trial today!


  1. Well said! Everyone should avoid saying things that could potentially make customers uncomfortable. And it's also a legal issue to call out the competition. And very unprofessional.

    Great blog!

  2. Good information! Common sense for the most part, but a one on one presentation can make you nervous and....... These reminders are wonderful.