Posts Tagged ‘People’

Words to avoid in Business Communication

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015


Words are powerful things. We all recognise that the words we use can impact how others see us. When speaking with prospects, clients, and colleagues, your choice of words and phrases shapes their perception of you; it tells them if you can get the job done effectively and responsibly. We usually focus on the things we should say in our proposals. But sometimes it’s helpful to see what we should not say.

COST – Better word: Investment

Your services aren’t just costs for cost’s sake. They’re investments with the goal of increasing your clients’ revenue. Investments merge value and expense by allowing the client to weigh input and outcome as one concept rather than two. So instead of cost we can use the word investment.

FIX – Better word: Improve

Improve is a positive word. Improve means your client did their best, and you’re the professional that’s going to bring their whole business up a notch. Even if you’re going to totally replace what they did, you’re still improving upon what existed before.

CUSTOMER – Better word: Client

Customers are generally people who come to you mainly to buy products or services you supply. Clients buy your advice and solutions personalised to their particular needs. So use the right one at the right time.

QUOTE – Better word: Proposal

A quote is the simplest way you will provide a sample price for a project. A proposal provides a look into the full extent of the project, and what will be needed to complete it. It will also provide a price, at times breaking it down to show where the time will be going into each step. So better word instead of quote will be proposal.

PEOPLE – Better word: Readers, visitors, audience, customers, etc.

The client isn’t looking to get more “people.” They want more readers, visitors, customers, clients, leads, and/or buyers. So better to use the above word instead of people.

PROOF – Better word: Concept

When you “send over concepts”, you are telling your client that these are the creative ideas you have turned into potential solutions, and that you’d like to work with them to find the best one and polish it until it’s the perfect fit for their business.

Some of these ideas may seem rather simple. The good news is, they are! It is really just a matter of understanding that the subtlest changes in your choice of words can produce the biggest wins.