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Life Health > Running Your Business > Selling

Stop Using Weak Words

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What You Need to Know

  • Actually, using some words too often could make you sound cowardly. Or worse.
  • The author just wants you to be brave about what you’re saying.
  • He also wishes you’d do more than tell people what you wish they’d do.

Too many advisors use junk words with clients and others that negatively impact their effectiveness.

If you’re using any of the words or phrases below in your communications with clients, prospects, your team… or anyone… stop saying them.

1. Actually…

“Actually, the reason I’m calling is…I’m actually going to be seeing a client right near you…and actually, I was just thinking…”

“Actually” is filler word, which makes you appear less confident. It can also [actually] come off as condescending when responding to someone about something they heard. If you have an opinion that differs from theirs, own it, without the word actually.

2. Just…

“I just want to say… I was just wondering… It will just take a few minutes…”

The word “just” is a minimizer. We use it because we’re afraid to say what we want to say. Just stay away from it.

3. So…

“So, today we’re going to…So, the reason I brought this up…”

“So,” at the start of a sentence is redundant and is another one of those words that make you appear less confident. Stop using it.

4. Hedges

“It’s just my opinion, but…The way I see it…I may be wrong but…

It might be scary to say what you think and give your advice. But that’s what your clients are looking for.

If you want to attract and keep clients you need to be more powerful. Stop hedging. Speak your truth.

Some people will love you no matter what you say. Some people will hate you no matter what you say. Speak your truth.

5. “Precatory” Language

“I hope you will…You really should…It would be a good idea if…”

Precatory language is a wish or desire that doesn’t rise to the level of a command or request and doesn’t have to be acted upon. When you’ve used this language you will be disappointed that what you wanted someone to do didn’t get done.

Replace precatory language like this:

“I hope you will sign this as soon as possible…”

with more powerful language:

“I need you to sign this today and get it back to me. Is there any reason you won’t be able to? Great, then we’re in agreement…”

Remove every weak word, hedge, and precatory request from your interactions and you will increase your impact… and your bottom line.

Get them to agree to whatever it is and you won’t be disappointed.

So, actually, in my opinion on weak words, the way I see it, and I may be wrong, is that they hurt your business, so it is my hope that you’ll stop using them!

Say what you think. Being liked for being “wishy-washy” is way less important to building your business than being honest and direct.


Sandy SchusselSandy Schussel has been a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals for the past 20 years. He is an approved MDRT coach and has served as the national sales training director for First Investors and Foresters. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients. Schussel‘s scheduling calendar is available.


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