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Sales Words and Phrases to Avoid at All Costs

March 21, 2016


Salespeople are real talkers. They are often articulate, tactful, and direct. Most importantly, they avoid using weasel words or those words and phrases that can subliminally jeopardize their credibility. These words and phrases are noise that is distracting or offensive to the prospect.

Nonetheless, there are still many sales representatives who want to boast and appear important without actually assessing the [negative] impact of what they are saying in front of the prospects.

To these uninitiated reps: Sorry to disappoint you, but your prospects can see right through those words!

Indeed, there are words and phrases that you mustn’t use during a pitch otherwise, you’ll run the risk of ruining your own credibility. And, with the mention of these words, the conversation is lost and there is no way you can get it back.

Things salespeople should not say

“Trust me.”

If you need to blatantly ask for the prospect to trust you, more likely, you cannot be trusted. This is one of the most annoying deflection tactics that only makes your prospect suspicious, thinking that you are hiding something from him. Trust must be earned.

“Honestly” “To be honest…” or “Let me be honest with you now.”

It’s a tell-tale sign that you are not being totally honest with her. In fact, the term or phrase is almost always followed by a lie. Needless to say, this also makes the prospect even more suspicious of your intention. Honesty must be established from the beginning.

“Frankly” or “Quite frankly”

This is one of the most insincere words out there.


Stressing what’s obvious is very insulting. It’s a condescending word that puts out that the prospect isn’t smart enough to take notice or understand the matter. If it is that obvious, your prospect has already noticed it.


Such a big word that may backfire if not used properly.


Such a word has a finality in it; thus, avoid mentioning the word during the first call or meeting. A great substitute is the word agreement.


This word has a negative ring to it. Mention the word in a room full prospects and you’ll only hear sighs. A more appropriate word is challenge.


Mentioning the word is a-okay if you are talking to colleagues. However, if you are talking to a prospect, use the most appropriate term future client.

“You should”

Another offensive phrase, this tells the prospect what they should be doing instead. You have no right to tell her what she must do really.

“I’ll try.”

Maybe you should. Maybe you should abandon the indecisiveness, too.

“I hope so.” “I think so.” or “Perhaps”

It only shows that you are not 100% sure of what you are saying or demonstrating. Phrases like these are not helping your cause. Thus, make sure that you understand every nook and cranny of what you are selling.


Every product or service has its own positioning. Nonetheless, regardless of how cheap it is, you need to position it as valuable. Don’t devalue your own product or service.


Impliedly, the word seems like you are just there for the sole purpose of hitting some numbers. Instead, use the phrase total investment.

“Once in a lifetime” and “The best ever”

The product or service that you are selling must be really excellent hence not using it is a waste of opportunity. But if it isn’t, spare your prospects some unfounded claims.


Never mention the word and any of the names of your competitors. Your prospect will google it to know the difference. Show the buyer that the product or service you are selling meets his needs and exceeds his expectations.


The right term is invest.

“Are there any objections?”

Again, the word objection is an awfully negative term. An alternative is areas of concern.


An industry jargon, it is better to use the word presentation because the word is too salesy. And, you are trying to be discreet about it, right?

“I mean that.”

Actually, you don’t. If you really mean what you say, there’s no need to emphasize it. Your sincerity must not be expressed verbally. Your prospect should feel it.

“Free” “Lowest price” “Risk-free” and “No risk”

These are just some of the most overused clichés that are sort of promises and not concrete claims.

Don’t talk yourself right out of the sale. There are specific words and phrases that you should’ve already ditched from your vocabulary if you want to make more sales. So, salespeople, take heed.


Now that you know which words and phrases to avoid, discover more selling tips and hacks from our blog.

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