Words to Banish From Your Business Speak

There are a few words you should think about excluding from your conversations in business. By using the alternatives your clients will perceive you as the person or business that can really help them with their needs.


If you are using the word ‘SELL’ when defining your processes, scripts, language, and brand you will unconsciously train your mind to see yourself and the things you do as selling. No one wants to be sold to and most of us do not want to be known as a pushy sales person. By exchanging this word with ‘HELP’ you will approach your conversations with your clients differently and you will feel more comfortable with your sales process.


NO – I sell my products to businesses that have a manufacturing workspace that has to be kept clean to their labour standards.

YES – I help my clients keep their manufacturing workspace clean by providing products that will allow them to meet their labour standards.

Try it with your product or service and see if you can feel the difference.


‘Can’t’ or ‘cannot’ are words that can be interpreted as if you do not want to commit to doing something. They can sound very weak, apologetic, and sometime non-committal.  It is often proceeded by an apology, like: Sorry, I can’t be there Thursday. To be sure that you are not just avoiding commitment and to make sure your statements sound like you are in control of you time and your business, try substituting ‘CAN’T’ with ‘WON’T’. Listen to these examples:


Weak – I can’t get the project done on the 15th.

Strong – I won’t get the project done on time because…

Weak – Sorry, I can’t get there until 4pm

Strong – I’m running late and I won’t get there until 4pm.

Don’t be afraid to commit to your predicament. Good or bad, if that is what is going to happen, then let them know so action can be taken if needed. Add confidence and take responsibility for your ability to produce.


As Yoda would say, “There is no ‘try’, do or don’t do.” I completely agree.


YES – I can make it and I will most likely be late.

YES – I cannot make it on time.

NO – I will try to be there on time.

Again, take responsibility for your expected outcomes and show your commitment to doing what needs to get done.


When talking about your products and services or purchasing for yourself or your business, substitute the word ‘cost’ with ‘invest’. You will feel a shift in the value of what you are doing by recognizing that the money you and your clients spend is an investment.


Client – “That costs way too much”

You – “Compared to what? This investment for most of our clients has a ROI of about 3 months. Does that sound like ‘too much?”

If you truly cannot justify it as an investment then you will need to review the value of your product/service or your purchase.


Before: I’m sure I can’t afford that, but I’ll try to see if I can. It really costs too much and I need would to sell to 6 more businesses to be able to afford it.

After: I won’t be able to afford that unless I help at least six more businesses. I know it will be worth the investment so I’m going to work hard to get what I need.

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