47 Dumbest Things Salespeople Say All the Time

By Geoffrey James – 

Every time a customer hears or reads these common words or phrases, they’re less likely to buy from you.

Over the years, I’ve reviewed and rewritten hundreds of sales and marketing emails. I’ve also received thousands of them and, since it’s my radar, I immediately notice what they’re doing wrong.

Anyway, I started out writing a post about how much I dislike the phrase “We’re excited to announce…” but decided instead to provide an omnibus of sales-y words and phrases that are best avoided. (I’ve done this before but I’ve greatly expanded the list.)

Some of the items below are simply bad writing, others are out-of-date, and still others are strategic mistakes of the “oops, I accidentally told the truth” variety. With each item, I’ve included a brief reason why you should avoid it.
  1. “Are you the decision-maker?” Why: slightly insulting.
  2. “But wait, there’s more!” Why: Hackneyed. OK, if being ironic, tho.
  3. “Buy now and save.” Why: Way corny.
  4. “Can I send you some information?” Why: Nobody wants more information.
  5. “Can I tell you about…?” Why: See #4.
  6. “Could you direct me to the right point of contact?” Why: You’re being a pest.
  7. “…offer you a discount.” Why: “discount” implies cheap (in the bad sense.)
  8. “Limited-Time Offer” Why: Obviously manipulative.
  9. “Do you have budget for this?” Why: Too crude in “me want make sale” way.
  10. “Does that make sense?” Why: Too obviously fishing for a “yes” to build momentum.
  11. “Feel free to call me at…” Why: People know salespeople will take their calls.
  12. “For more information…” Why: Again, nobody wants more information.”
  13. “Frankly,…” Why: So, you were lying up until now?
  14. “Have you heard about us?” Why: If you have to ask, they haven’t.
  15. “Highest quality…” Why: Unprovable and everybody says it so, meh.
  16. “How are things going?” Why: Fake friendliness is a big turnoff.
  17. “How are you doing today?” Why: See #16.
  18. “I don’t want to waste your time.” Why: Then why are you wasting it?
  19. “Industry-Leading” Why: See #15.
  20. “I haven’t heard back from you.” Why: Sounds like you’re blaming them.
  21. “I hope you’re doing well.” Why: See #16.
  22. “I thought you might be the right person to connect with.” Why: They’re not.
  23. “I wanted to…” Why: Who care what you, a stranger, wants?
  24. “I’d like to…” Why: See #23
  25. “I’d love to…” Why: See #24.
  26. “I’m reaching out to…” Why: Too biz-blabby.
  27. “World-class” Why: Unprovable and basically meaningless.
  28. “I’ve sold…” Why: Reminds people you’re in sales. Bad move.
  29. “I’ve been selling…” Why: See #28
  30. “If I don’t hear back from you…” Why: Sounds like a threat.”
  31. “If you have any questions…” Why: Wrongly assumes they’re interested.
  32. “Is this a good time to connect?” Why: It’s not.
  33. “Just checking in…” Why: Smacks of gotta-make-the-sale desperation.
  34. “Just touching base to…” Why: See #33.
  35. “Money-back guarantee.” Why: Cheesy and dated.
  36. “New and improved!” Why: See #35.
  37. “Obviously,…” Why: You just insulted the reader.
  38. “Satisfaction guaranteed.” Why: See #33.
  39. “Sorry to bother you.” Why: Then why are you bothering them?
  40. “Thank you for your time.” Why: If you need to say it, you wasted their time.
  41. “To be honest…” Why: Implies that you haven’t been honest.
  42. “Trust me.” Why: Only liars feel the need to say this. (E.g. Trump)
  43. “We are excited to announce…” Why: Nobody cares if YOU are excited.
  44. “We can save you money.” Why: Too obvious.
  45. “What do I have to do to get your business?” Why: Sounds too scripted. Also corny.
  46. “What if I said you could…” Why: See #45.
  47. “Why pay more?” Why: Hackneyed.