“No Problem.” Or is it?

I am going to split a hair here so I do not expect everyone to buy in, but when it comes to selling, small things add up to big differences.

When someone says “Thank you” to you, do you respond, “No problem,” or do you respond, “You’re welcome?”  

The reason I ask is because a lot of people, particularly younger people, are using “No problem” as the default response. That may be fine in a casual conversation, but it has some definite, subliminal disadvantages in the business context. 

First of all, just using the word “problem” in the phrase has a negative undertone.  But more importantly, unless delivered in a very upbeat tone, “no problem” can come off as sounding like “It was no problem for ME (the service provider),” but as the buyer, I don’t really care about that do I?

On the other hand, the phrase, “you’re welcome” is 100% positive.  It incorporates the word “you” which is the perfect focus in a sales/service scenario, and the word “welcome” which not only has no negative undercurrent, but also expresses open arms  . . . the customer is literally “welcome” to this great service, now, and in the future.

I know . . . it’s a nit. But we use these types of phrases thousands of times per year so sometimes it is constructive just to stop and think about them for a minute. Sales is a challenging profession. Every little advantage can help!