11 Words You Should Never Use in Sales or Marketing

This is a recent Inc. Magazine article that really spoke to me. Personally, I hate hearing these types of buzz words when I’m being sold. When I’m selling, I avoid them as I desperately try not to come across as the stereotypical “sales guy”. You need to know your customer. Having said that, there’s no denying that some customers do respond to these words and actually want to hear them. Some extremely effective, very successful sales people can justifiably disagree with every bit of this article. The point is, you need to recognize that no two customers or sales calls are the same and adapt accordingly.

The only consistencies I require when being sold (or selling) are: Be genuine. Be an expert. Be thorough. Don’t waste time. Make life easier. And don’t fuck me. Also, in the words of Gordon Gekko: “Save the cheap salesman talk. It’s obvious.”

11 Words You Should Never Use in Sales or Marketing

Want to stand out from the pack? Stop sounding like the pack. Samples are helpful. Demos are often effective. But what is the primary tool used to convince potential customers to buy?


Whether spoken or written, words make sales happen.

Or not.

Too many salespeople (and marketers and advertisers) use the same words to describe their products and services. Pretend I’m a potential customer or client.

Here’s how I react when you use the following words:

“Customer focused.”

Talk about redundant; should you be anything but customer focused?

If your goal is to imply that other providers are not customer focused, tell me how: Faster response time, greater availability, customized processes or systems… tell me in concrete terms how you will meet my specific needs. (If you don’t know my needs and therefore can’t address them, shame on you.)

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