Sales Words To Use & To Avoid

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I come from a long line of communicators, salespeople, entrepreneurs, and even one telegraph operator.

All of them took language very seriously, and if you look at how they did in their careers, it worked out pretty well for them.

With this legacy in mind, please pardon me if I also show sensitivity to the impact of language. It's in my genes!

I suppose, if you want to be a word-nerd, it doesn’t hurt having a Ph. D. from the Annenberg School For Communication, at USC. (Occasionally, it can even get you some football tickets!)

Anyway, I’ve had such great responses to my articles about wimpy versus winning sales language that I thought I’d treat you to more examples of sales words to use and to avoid.

Typically, it is good sense to avoid using these weak-at-the-knees, trembling, weasel words and phrases:

I’d like to…




Do you have a minute to talk?

I’m not interrupting anything, am I?

Substitute the following positive terms and combinations:

What we’ll do is…

What we do…

What we’re doing…

I’m sure you’ll find…



This will just take a second…

I’m a strong believer in the “Try it, you’ll like it!” approach to selling, and so I encourage you to put these improved words to use, every day, in your presentations.

And then tell me how you do, okay?

Dr. Gary S. Goodman © 2006

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. A frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide, Gary’s programs are offered by UCLA Extension and by numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. Gary is headquartered in Glendale, California. He can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at:


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