Avoid These Phrases in Business

March 21, 2019

Communication in business should be quite straightforward and an easy concept to understand. A customer asks a question and receives a response. An employee has a question or offers a suggestion and expects a reply. 

Hopefully, these are both answered with some type of positive response rather than deflected with a negative phrase that does little to motivate a customer into making a purchase or an employee from doing the best job possible.

Just one negative phrase can produce an undesirable attitude from any customer or employee. With a slight change of words, however, the phrase can become positive. The right chosen words can encourage customers to become loyal and act as goodwill ambassadors for a business. Likewise, carefully chosen words can encourage employees to become committed to a business and highly motivated.

Words and phrases that inspire others do not necessarily come automatically. The starting point with anyone (owner, manager, or employee) is to have a positive attitude and project it to others. To accomplish this, certain phrases should never be in a business vocabulary, such as: 

We can't do that – This is a very negative response since few things are impossible. With the right attitude and a little flexibility, it is amazing what can be accomplished in business. 

What to say instead: "We'll see if we can do that."

We'll get to it later - Procrastination is never a remedy in business. In fact, it is nothing more than a delay tactic. Satisfied customers and loyal employees are not interested in waiting. When dealing with their concerns, they want someone to have a sense of urgency in handling their situation. 

What to say instead: "We'll take care of that ASAP."

3. It's not that important - To a customer or employee, their needs are very important. The most important customer or employee a business has is the one they are dealing with at the present time. 

What to say instead: "I certainly understand the importance of this."

4. Why so many questions? - We all know that some people ask many more questions than others, but they still need answers. If they're asking a question, it's important for them to receive an answer. 

What to say instead: "I'm happy to answer your questions."

5. Why doesn't he take his business elsewhere? - This is a phrase a business owner never wants to hear from employees. Rather than helping to build a long-term successful business, this attitude does just the opposite. After all, it’s the business that pays bills and creates jobs.

What to say instead: "We're thankful for all business." 

It’s Either Positive or Negative

With communication, it's about being either positive or negative. On one end of the spectrum, communication can be positive. Customers return and employees are loyal. On the other end, communication can be negative and little or nothing gets accomplished. Customers go to the competition, and employees leave for other jobs. Often the difference between being positive or negative can simply be the choice of words.

Make Responses Work for You

Take negative phrases out of your business vocabulary and make sure your employees get the message, as well. Positive responses come with practice. It never hurts to do a little role-playing during employee training, so when an actual situation occurs there is an automatic, positive response. When the right phrases are used, there is a big difference in customer and employee attitudes and reactions. Rather than wasting energy on negative phrases, use positive phrases that take the same amount of effort but produce much greater results.