Stop saying ‘Thank you.’

When you thank your prospects for their time after a meeting, you’re doing it wrong, according to a top SaaS Sales Consultant.

Last month we staged our 5th Sales Confidence live event at GoCardless HQ London. We had 100 SaaS enthusiasts watching two sales leaders, a consultant and a coach sharing their secrets. Even if you couldn’t make it, we want to share the inspiration and education with you through our articles.

Anna Baird

Our third speaker was Anna Baird. As well as being a former LinkedInner like me, Anna is one of London’s top SaaS sales consultants. After leaving LinkedIn, Anna is now City Director at WNorth. The topic of Anna’s talk was why consultants are important in SaaS sales teams.

In this article, I want to pick out one remark that Anna made and examine it more closely. Here it is.

‘Don’t thank people for their time. It puts you at a disadvantage on the scale of ‘you’re more important than I am.’ You’re both taking time out of your day.’

Powershift

It’s easy to think that Anna is making a fuss over nothing here. How much difference can two little words make? Plus, if you’re British, it’s what you do. We like saying ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’ even more than we like queuing.

However, when you think about it more deeply, maybe Anna is right. That small piece of unconscious politeness causes the balance of power between you and the prospect to shift. When you thank them for their time, you’re effectively saying your time is less valuable than theirs. Your servitude hands an advantage to them in the sales process.

You’re in sales. Your time is valuable. You could even turn this assumption on its head. If you and your SaaS product are the solutions for your prospect’s pain, you’re actually doing them a favour spending time with them. They should be thanking you!

It’s pointless

Have you ever closed a sale just because you thanked your prospect for their time? I bet you haven’t.

You saying ‘Thank you.’, shifting the balance of power between you and the prospect. It doesn’t move you any closer to the sale.

Try stopping it for a while and see if it affects your numbers. I’ve got a feeling it won’t.

Everybody does it

My final reason to stop thanking prospects for their time is simple. Everybody does it.

Your prospect may meet hundreds of salespeople just like you over a year. They will all thank him or her for their time. Why be just like everybody else? Why not be different?

I would bet your prospect wouldn’t even notice if you didn’t thank them for their time. And if they did, I bet they don’t care. They may even find your lack of grovelling refreshing!

Give it a try

Why not give it a go? Stop saying ‘thank you for your time’ after a meeting. See what happens.

Put the time you spend saying that one little sentence to better use. Give your prospect one more reason how you can help them.

Let us know how it goes.

If you’d like to find about more about the balance of power in sales, Anna recommended looking up the power/attitude matrix. According to Anna, ‘It’s badass!’

Over to you know. Do you thank your prospects for their time? What other phrases you do think we should stop saying in sales? Let us know in the comments below.

1 Comment
  • Jennifer
    Posted at 13:03h, 14 June Reply

    Where can I find the Power/Attitude Matrix mentioned in the article?

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