No problem is a lazy phrase that comes up too much in business situations. If you are a perpetrator (or work with one), you can correct this and it will help you relate better to buyers, colleagues, and referrers. A change like this can ultimately help you create more opportunities and even sell more. Yes, I said it. The words you choose have great power.
Here's the problem with saying "No Problem" in a business context - chances are you are saying "no problem" when you would be much better served by saying "you're welcome" or "it's my pleasure." This is one of those little things that can really grate on people. When the people you are grating on happen to be potential buyers, your manager, your company president, or referral partners, you may lose a sale. Is that OK with you?
I was at a restaurant this weekend and our waiter must have said, "no problem" to us about a dozen times. That's the second issue - having crutch words. Not only is he missing every opportunity to say "you're welcome" to us when we say "thank you" to him, but he is doing it over and over and over again. The third issue has to do with his tone - which was very impersonal. I could hear him saying the very same thing in the same way to diners at other tables. It sounded patronizing or that he was just "phoning it in" - going through the motions.
This might work out in a dining setting, but as one of the little things in dealing with potential buyers, it is an accumulation of small things that add up to kill a deal.
Can you afford to lose one of your projected deals?
The other thought on this is that your initial approach - by phone and email help create a relationship that can include doing business together. Instead of thinking about the projected deals you already have, cleaning up your language so that it sounds professional, crisp, and clear will help you get ADDITIONAL opportunities.
Can you afford to miss out on a new opportunity?
Why do so many sales experts dislike the phrase "no problem"? For me, it is because it suggests that there could be a problem - where did a problem come from? There was no problem, so don't bring a potential problem up. It is also because if I say "thank you" - the reply I am looking for is one of two things -
"you're welcome" - courteous response
"it's my pleasure" - meaning I am happy to help you, prospective buyer (or existing client)
In professional selling, words are power.
In professional selling, you get to choose any and every word you use in your e-mail messages, in your voice mail messages, and when you speak directly to a potential referrer or potential buyer.
Become a student of communication to learn about power words and crutch words. This one idea could give you an extra deal each month - or that one big opportunity you are working toward.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the "Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.