Why You Should Never Say, "I just wanted to..."

Posted by Peter Caputa on Jun 13, 2012 9:00:00 AM

Yesterday, I was re-writing an email template that a salesperson wrote to invite leads to a webinar. I also overhear salespeople all day on the phone and receive lots of bad sales emails from people trying to sell me something.

Way too many salespeople start their conversation with "I just wanted to..."

As soon as someone says, "I just wanted to", I tune them out. If they say, "I just wanted to call you because", I hang up. Many other people do too. Even people who are much nicer than me.

Here's why:

  1. Buyers don't care what you want. If you're just starting a conversation with a prospect, the last thing they care about is what you want.
  2. Buyers want to talk to experts, not salespeople. Experts aren't afraid to position how they help people or ask a straightforward concise question... right away. Or maybe build rapport and break the ice like a human should.
  3. "I just wanted to" are wasted words. When you're calling someone, they were probably doing something else. You're interrupting them. (I am not saying that you should not call people. In fact, if you hope to sell something, you need to call people.) But, get to the point.  Don't put words in between your point (or question) and the beginning of the call.
  4. You sound weak. Your time as an expert is valuable. You shouldn't be starting off your sentence by justifying what you're doing. You're calling them. That's obvious. You wanted to. That's obvious. Don't restate the obvious just to justify. No need to justify it. You're doing it.

So, strike "I just wanted to" from your vocabulary. Here's a few examples of how you can do it.

  1. If you say, "I just wanted to call you to follow up to your recent download of our free ebook on pinterest. What were you looking for help with?", change it to, "You recently downloaded our free ebook on lead generation. What were you looking for help with?"
  2. If you say, "I was just calling to tell you about how other companies use our service to do xyz,", then say, "We help xyz companies like yours who are struggling with abc. Is that something you've ever struggled with?"

One of my best friends, Amy Breton, used to call my house when were in high school. When my parents answered or if it went to our answering machine, she would always start with "Hi. It's Just Amy.". My parents started calling her "Just Amy". Amy is still one of my closest friends today and she is an extremely intelligent, hard working, successful person. She's NOT "Just Amy". She's not my wife, Amy. But, she's very very important to me and she makes extremely positive improvements in the lives of the people she touches. You can be important to your prospects, like Amy is. Some of the people I called and interrupted will tell you that I've had as much impact on their lives as their best friends have. Be important. Don't just Be "Just <insert your name>".

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Topics: sales advice

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