Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?”

While there may be some truth to that phrase in certain circumstances, in the world of sales or negotiations, it IS what you say AND how you say it.

No matter what, I believe we all have been guilty of using a wrong word or phrase while negotiating or selling. And maybe we still “landed the deal,” but it is wise to just leave certain words or phrases out.

So today, we will examine 7 words or phrases you should never use in negotiations or sales.

#1 Never Use: I’ll Be Honest

Put yourself in the shoes of the other person, what would you think?

“Oh, your going to be honest now? Does that mean everything you have told me beforehand has been a lie?”

We use that phrase thinking we are adding to the “punch,” but fact is, we are punching ourselves when we use it.

Just leave that phrase out and say whatever was going to come after it.

#2 Never Use: Between

When you use the word between between figures or dates, the individual will “hone in” on the lowest or earliest.

Let’s say you will deliver between June 6th and June 18th, the individual will automatically expect delivery by the 6th. Or if you say you could build the website at a cost of between $9,000 and $12,000, the expectation will be $9,000.

Using between can shoot you in the foot.

#3 Never Use: I’m Sorry Or I Apologize

You should never be sorry for negotiating… So DON’T!

Now, if you spill coffee on the floor, you may want to apologize. But do not apologize for trying to get the best deal.

#4 Never Use: Obviously

Even if in the midst of a pitch, the word obviously is insulting. It inflects that the person should be able to see and understand and if they don’t, they will feel you are looking down on them.

Save yourself the headache and just do not use this word.

#5 Never Use: We

You’re talking about your team, your tribe and you use the term we, the person or persons may know what you mean about we, but it is really unprofessional. It makes more sense to put your company or brand in the minds. Instead of using we, use the brand or company name.

#6 Never Use: Trust Me

This phrase falls into the same path as #1. Personally, I have always found that the person who says trust me is the first person who will “stab you in the back.”

Now, that isn’t always true, but most people feel that if a person has to say trust me, they are being manipulative.

#7 Never Use: Try

A friend of mine once told me a story that his Dad used with him when he was young.

The Dad asked him if he could mow the lawn and my friend said, “I will try.” The Dad reached for a chair and told my friend to sit down. Wondering what kind of lecture he was about to get my friend heard his Dad say, “Now try to get out of the chair.”

Looking dumbfounded, my friend rose up to a standing position and his Dad said, “You didn’t try, you did it.” The Dad explained that the word try should only be used in a courtroom when they “try” a defendant.

You cannot try… You either do it or you don’t.”

When in negotiations or sales, try is a weak and passive word that gives either party a way out.

Don’t use it!


These are just a few words you should never use… Hey, can you think of more? Post your answers in the comment area.

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Thanks for stopping in and keep moving forward and upward…

To The Top!

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