Your Buyers don’t want you to be subserviant

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want my help in growing your sales, let’s connect.

Oh thank you so much for your time”.

“I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity to speak with you”.

“I know you are so busy, so thank you so much for meeting with me”.

“Oh, I am so sorry to have interrupted your day”.

I could go on and on with phrases that I hear like this.

You may be thinking, “What is wrong with these?”.  “Why wouldn’t I be polite, friendly, respectful and engaging like this?”

Because it puts buyers off, that’s why.  Let me explain further.

Can you remember when you were dating? Maybe you still are dating but we have all had those dates where the other person was TOO KEEN. TOO NICE. TOO SICKLY!

They agreed with everything you said. They liked everything you liked. They wanted to do what you wanted to do.

You thought they were nice but you came away from the date just feeling a little ‘urrghh’.

They were lovely but something just didn’t feel right. So you didn’t see them again.

You didn’t want to meet someone who was nasty, but you did want someone to have a bit more character. To have a bit more about them.

I know when I was dating, I fell in love with my wife because she played hardball! I can’t deny it. I sort of enjoyed the chase and if she had been a walkover early on (that she is certainly not!) then I am not sure I would be married to her today.

She wasn’t cold or rude but she just had her views and stuck up for that.

I liked that. She wasn’t going to devalue herself and just do what I wanted. She had her own principles which made me think she had some substance and backbone.

And that made me more intrigued. So intrigued that I ended up marrying her.

Why share a story about your wife and your dating history you may ask?

Because your buyers and prospects operate in the same way as you did when you had that sickly date.

You might think they want someone to bow down and kiss their shoes and whilst there are a few narcissists who would want that, most buyers do not want lapdogs.

If they are in senior roles within companies, they get that internally and yet the savvy executives know that they and their companies won’t grow if they aren’t being challenged.

And where do they get that challenge from? Confident, insightful and value-adding business people. People just like YOU!

Many people who sell go into subservient mode when they speak with buyers or potential customers. Especially if those people have senior roles. They go into ‘soft/jelly’ mode and act like they are blessed to be able to get time in the other person’s diary.

I have seen people virtually worship at the feet of their buyers and not only does it devalue you and what you offer but your buyer doesn’t like or more importantly respect it.

No matter what position or role your buyer holds, you each have 24 hours in the day. You are both human beings. You both have to drink water to survive, both have to breathe to stay alive and both have to sit on the toilet and…… you get the picture!

If you start any sales conversation with a feeling of subservience with phrases like “Oh thank you so much for your time” then not only is it going to deposition you but it’s also going to lower the buyer’s view of you.

By using these types of phrases you are giving the buyer the sense that they are on a different level to you and doing that is a recipe for disaster in sales.

If they have the upper hand so early in the process, what will happen by the time you try and negotiate terms on a contract or pricing?

You might feel you are being polite and friendly but in all reality, these phrases are costing you and making you look subservient. They devalue you and buyers don’t want to give their time and attention to people and things they don’t value.

What do buyers want?

  • Someone to provide them with insights.
  • Someone to understand their world.
  • Someone who has knowledge about their marketplace and who can make them think differently about what they do now.


Buyers want value and insights, not compliments and slaves.

Please note that I am not saying this means you should be rude. Or that you should not respect the position and role someone has.

But I am saying use different language in your communications with them and have some respect for yourself and what you offer.

Instead of the phrases I mentioned at the start, look to adjust your language and use terms like the ones outlined below:

  • I am glad we both made time to meet today.
  • We both have busy schedules but let’s speak and establish a way forward one way or another.
  • Let’s meet at 4pm on Tuesday and discuss options.
  • I suggest we have an initial conversation to assess whether there could be a potential fit.
  • From here we can then decide if it makes sense to have a further discussion.
  • We don’t know each other but I work with other CEO’s similar to yourself and they value the insights I share on how they can xxx.


These and other phrases if used in the right way will get you attention. And respect. Use these along with valuable, targeted content which targets the key challenges that your customers face and you are going to be in a far better position to have conversations and do business together.

You never know, you may even get a business marriage out of it. 😃

And even if you don’t, you won’t have sacrificed your self-worth in the process.

Buyers don’t want subservience James. They want confident, value-adding, strong business and salespeople who can understand their challenges and make a difference in their world.

Not sure you have the sales confidence to be like this? I will share some ideas next Saturday on how you can develop your own inner self to stand toe to toe with any potential buyer and feel good about what you do.

It can be done.



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