Closing an email with “thank you for your consideration” is professional, but not exactly compelling. Renowned sales executive and entrepreneur Jeff Hoffman says it’s also a white flag when you work in sales. That’s because this phrase can signal that a competitor has already won the business.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we highlight Hoffman’s seven alternatives to substitute for “thank you for your consideration.”

1. “Thank you for your time.” Depending on how far along the prospect got in the sales process, chances are they invested a good amount of time considering your offer. Even if they go with a competitor, acknowledging and thanking your contact for the time they spent learning about your product can be an impactful way to build relationships, says Hoffman.

2. “Have you actually executed the contract yet?” If no ink has been spilled, it’s not a done deal. Hoffman says this is your opportunity to offer a big discount. You’ve already lost the upper hand. Offer your biggest discount to try to jolt the prospect into reconsidering your bid.

3. “Price and terms aside, which vendor had the best technology?” Many salespeople use this time to ask, “Is there anything we could have done better?” or “Were there features we were missing that gave [Competitor] the upper hand?” Don’t do this. Instead, Hoffman suggests saying, “I appreciate you letting me know. Can I ask, pricing and terms aside, which vendor had the best technology?” If you’re looking for feedback on what you could have done differently or better, turn to current clients. They’re invested in your product/service improving and are motivated to give you the hard feedback you need.

4. “Can I touch base in 12 weeks to see how the transition went?” Hoffman often sees sales reps trying to re-engage with prospects six months after they’ve chosen another vendor. This sends the message they have enough free time to reconnect with closed-lost business. Think of it this way: if your ex gets married, you’re not going to reach out six months after the wedding and ask if they’re interested in pursuing things with you again. Apply that tenacity to new business instead.

5. “Thank you for the opportunity to earn your business.” If it doesn’t look like a deal will move forward, sincerely thank the prospect for their time, encourages Hoffman. Take it as an opportunity to let them know that you’re there to help address any questions or issues in the future. Just because you won’t be working with them right now doesn’t mean they won’t come back when the time is right.

6. “I appreciate your time and consideration.” No matter what direction you plan to take the conversation, letting your prospect know how much you appreciate their time and consideration is a respectful approach, says Hoffman.

7. “Hoping you’ll consider us for your business.” If you want your prospect to consider your company for future deals, say so. Offer to discuss other products or services with them that may be a better fit.

While you won’t win every prospect you pursue, you can position yourself better in your outreach. Try using one of the options above instead of the standard, “Thank you for your consideration.”

Source: Jeff Hoffman is a renowned sales executive and entrepreneur who consults with industry leaders on the topics of sales, sales management and sales operations. Hoffman is the author of Your SalesMBA™, “Why You? Why You Now?™,” and The Seven Basho Strategies™ sales training programs.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers