In sales, you sometimes have to throw conventional wisdom out the window. This might mean saying something that traditional sales training may not have you say. It takes courage to go against the grain, but if you’re willing to mix things up with your prospecting, Jeff Hoffman, an author and sales executive, says you can blaze through your call list with increased speed and effectiveness.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share his roundup of some of the most captivating prospecting phrases you can use. Read on for some one-liners that can help you bust through all the noise and capture more attention.   

“We haven’t yet met.” If a prospect is trying to place you, this phrase takes the guesswork out of it. Be upfront if you don’t know them. Hoffman says this sets the expectation that you’re honest and not trying to trick them.

“This call will take three minutes.” You might typically say something like, “This call will only take a few minutes.” But that’s too vague and can be a red flag to prospects. They know “a few minutes” means however long they’re willing to let you talk. Hoffman recommends giving a clear finish line so the prospect knows they’ll only be on the phone three minutes.

“I’m lost. Can you help me?” An alternative to this could be, “I haven’t called your organization before, and I’m not sure where to start.” This attention-grabbing statement puts the power in the prospect’s hands – they can decide if they’re going to help you or not. Plus, Hoffman says words like “help” and “lost” are easy to connect with.

“Our companies have spoken before, and I’m trying to decipher the notes from the previous account manager.” You can use this phrase when you’ve inherited an account from someone else and you’re not sure where to start. Hoffman recommends framing it in a way where you’re seeking assistance and express your genuine interest in learning more.

“I’m looking for more detail on your executive. What do they like and dislike about sales calls?” If you reach an executive assistant, ask them about what their executive is expecting from a sales call, Hoffman suggests. Try adding, “I’m doing my prep to understand exactly what they’re looking for.”

“How does your company do X?” This is a smart question to ask because it takes the attention off the sales process. Make a statement or ask a question that the prospect is qualified and excited to address, Hoffman says. You can ultimately circle back to your sales efforts, but this can be a great way to keep the conversation going.

“I just read your article on X topic. Could you tell me more about Y point?” With this approach, Hoffman says you can show your prospect that you have an active interest in their space and company – but also room to grow and learn.


Whether you’re beginning a conversation, developing connection or demonstrating interest, there’s a phrase above you can include in your discussions. Try working some of these statements into your dialogue to get noticed and remembered.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Jeff Hoffman is a sales executive, entrepreneur and author who presents to sold-out audiences around the globe.