8 years ago
April 18, 2016

5 Words You Should Avoid Saying in Your Next Sales Call

The following list of five words doesn’t help your chances of making a sale, so it’s best to leave them out of your sales call completely.

Rhys Metler

Talking is a big part of a sales person’s job, so it’s important to use words that will help your chances of making a sale instead using words that make people skeptical of your intentions. When you set out on a sales call, you should have a definite plan in mind. When your plan is based on your goals, you can steer the conversation the way you want it to go. Often, sales reps write out a basic outline to help them navigate the sales call and keep the conversation in line with their goals. This is a great practice.

Along with your outline, keep the following five words handy, not because you’ll want to use them but because you want to avoid using them. During your sales call, you might be swept away by your great ideas and the flow of the conversation, and you might inadvertently use one of these words. Although they might be very useful in other applications, they’re no good during a sales call.

The following list of five words doesn’t help your chances of making a sale, so it’s best to leave them out of your sales call completely. 


Sometimes sales people use this word in an attempt to get their potential clients to trust them, but unfortunately, that attempt can backfire. When you say “honestly,” it implies that everything you’ve said previously wasn’t exactly truthful. It can leave your potential clients scratching their heads, wondering if they need to mentally review what you’ve said so far and dissect it for the truth. Don’t let their minds wander into this territory. Use words that exhibit your candor, and leave “honestly” out of your sales call.


Don’t bring up your competitors. By doing so, you’ll show your insecurity and obsession with those other people. Instead, position your products or services in a way that shows that your customers are perfectly satisfied with what you have to offer; therefore, it doesn’t matter what the competition does. They’re irrelevant. If a potential client brings up your competitors, then stay magnanimous in your sales call. There’s no need to disparage your competitors. Just objectively point out the differences between your own products and theirs, and stay as professional and polite as possible.


You may be able to offer lower prices than others in your industry, but convey that idea without using the word “cheap.” Although “cheap” does mean inexpensive, it also carries connotations of poor quality. You want your potential customers to view your products and services as valuable, maybe even indispensable, so don’t muddy the waters with cheapness. If you need a word to substitute for “cheap,” try “less expensive,” “lower rate,” “better value.”


If you don’t sound confident in your products, services, customer support, sales presentation, and relationships with clients, why should anyone else? One way to sound more confident during a sales call is to eradicate the word “hope” from your vocabulary. You don’t “hope they’ll call you back after thinking about your sales presentation,” you “look forward to speaking to them again on Wednesday when you follow up.” Be proactive and confident in your language, and others will trust you and put their confidence in your judgment.


This is a word to forget about completely when you’re on a sales call. Why? Because it makes you sound condescending, and when you sound condescending, people don’t want to talk with you. You might think that “obviously” is simply a connector word, a word leading from one argument to its obvious conclusion. But often what people hear when you say it during a sales call is, “I know you’re not smart enough to understand this, so let me put it in simple words for you.” That’s a bad, bad message to send, even if that’s not what you intended to say.

Avoid these five words, and enjoy sales call success.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.