During sales conversations, consultants have a tendency to go to one of these two extremes: Or speaking with an overly formal and technical tone, or adopting an extremely casual one. In the first case, you sound like a robot salesman. In the second one, it's not clear what you want to say.
Here are some lines I hear a lot, followed by a better version for you to use:
Original: (Sales pitch in the first call)
Better: It sounds as if there are two or three areas here worth exploring. What do you look like next week at this same time for a meeting? I'll bring some ideas about what we see working, and you can invite anyone from your team who can give us their ideas and feedback.
Original: Here’s why our service is right for you.
Better: Our service is not for everyone. Here are the benefits and here are the drawbacks.
Original: We charge X.
Better: Based on out conversations so far, I believe the right solution is going to cost something between X and Y. Does that sound like we're in the ballpark?
Original: Who’s the decision maker?
Better: In addition to yourself, is there someone else we should bring to this conversation?
Original: I’d love to meet with IT.
Better: We normally find that if we bring in the IT people early in the process, we are more likely to understand their needs and get their buy-in. This makes it a lot easier to get things done. Who can we invite to the chat?
Original: Does that make sense?
Better: How does that sound?
Original: Why didn't you like the proposal?
Better: Which part of this might not work for you, and how would you change it?
Original: You don't need to do it like this.
Better: I understand you want to make this particular change, which may be a good idea. But just so I can understand it, can you tell me why you need this done this way? What problems do you have when you do it another way?
Original: I haven’t heard back from you.
Better: Have you decided to defer the project?
Original: That's our proposed solution. I'll email you the written proposal with the detailed information.
Better: That's our proposed solution. When you discuss this with your team, you are no doubt going to have questions and concerns, and I want to make sure that I am here to address those for you. Can we put a quick 15 min chat in the calendar for next week at this same time?
Original: To be honest...
Better: Don’t say that. Implies you are not honest the rest of the time.