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Sales Mindset #4 – Is being polite good in Sales?

Is being polite good in sales

So, I get several Sales calls and tones of emails / messages from Sales Executives, Managers, Entrepreneurs pitching their products & services.

Wrong Sales Approach

Seller (soft & friendly tone): - Hi, my name is _____. I am calling from ______. Is this this Mr. Amit?

Me (Conscious tone): - Yes.

Seller (over polite tone): Hi Sir, how are you doing today?

At this instance, I know it's a seller on the other side of the phone with a hidden agenda of trapping me into selling.

Me (Suspicious Tone): - Good.

Seller: I am calling regarding…….

Me (Rush tone): Not Interested / Drop me an email / I am busy / heading for a meeting /call me next week

So, that’s how most of the calls with me ends. Can you dig it? This is straight out of my experience of training hundreds of Sales Professionals, Entrepreneurs and reviewing their tons of calls and emails.

Sales People struggle to figure out why this approach isn’t working. Their thinking sequence is,

  • I am calling a complete stranger.

  • I have to start a conversation with the customer.

  • It’s going to be uncomfortable to just call unannounced and interrupt.

  • I will be polite to begin with and use pleasantries “How are you doing today?”

"Just as there is no such thing as a free lunch, there cannot, surely, be such a thing as 'too nice' for no reason,"

What they don’t realize is, this mindset works for Grandmother’s friends but not with Cold Customers who you wish to convince for their time or money.

Top Professionals and Sales Leaders know "No one likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to buy?"

Yes, as soon as customers see a stranger being nice and polite, it’s a clear signal of selling that raises their suspicion out of the roof and then they just cut the cord with rejections or no response.

If you are really serious about engaging strangers into productive conversation, then switch your mindset from being ‘Nice & Polite’ to being ‘Direct and Straightforward’

Drop Polite & Friendly Tone. Stick to straight Professional Tone.

Your tone communicates volume about your purpose. If you are calling customers over phone or if you are sending emails or messages, tone of your message gives the feel of your purpose.

Polite & Friendly Tone communicates your hidden agenda of ‘selling’. People just hates selling. As a result, they resist and you lose a potential deal.

Instead, use straight tone that isn’t soft, polite and at the same time isn’t rude. Strike the balance and it will lead to an impression of a Consultant, Advise, an Authority people would like to pay attention to and you will get an opportunity.

Smile but Don’t Laugh

Smiling over the phone or when meeting the customer in-person injects an ease into the conversation. You will seem more approachable to the customer. This is a mark of a professionals.

However, over smiling or laughing raises suspicion and hint customer towards the hidden agenda. In many situations, it could lead to misunderstandings. Customer may find it insulting too.

On the other hand, not smiling make you look less approachable, rude & proud.

The best way out to keep it straight and simple is – a smiling face in the beginning and a straight professional tone.

Be Direct About What You Want

In an effort to engage a first time customer into conversation, we begin it with inquiring about customer. The surprising part is, you aren’t really curious to learn about his day. Even customer isn’t comfortable having a friendly conversation with someone who he doesn’t know.

Don’t start your conversation with ‘How are you today?’ or ‘How has been the day so far’ especially when contacting first time customer. This politeness & pleasantry doesn’t lead to a healthy conversation.

Instead, customer sense your hidden agenda of selling and try to move away. Be direct about what you want and why are you calling him. When you hit him straight with agenda without any pleasantries involved, customer respect that and will give you an opportunity to engage without any suspicion or resistance from him.

Right Approach

Seller (Straight tone): - Hi, my name is _____. I am calling from ______. Is this this Mr. Amit?

Customer (Conscious tone): - Yes.

Seller (Straight tone): I am calling regarding…..?

If you follow this mindset and approach, it will help you connect with more customers and convert more cold leads into conversations without much efforts.


In the end, remember, Sales isn’t about being over polite with the customer; it's about being straightforward and direct to engage more customers into conversation.

Connect with me on Linkedin to receive updates on upcoming post Sales Mindset #4 - Being Polite win deals?

I have discussed it thoroughly in my book “Sales Decoded - 5 steps to powerful selling" and in my online sales courses here Sales Training Books | Courses | eBooks | Workshops | Events | Demo

And, if you are in Chennai, Bangalore or Hyderabad, join my Sales Training Workshop to learn the Top Sales Approach - Authoritative Selling Business Consulting | Sales Training - Chennai | Bangalore | Hyderabad

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