Three Words to Avoid!

There are three words that are absolutely deadly to sales, our careers and our very psyche. These three words when uttered send a very negative message  to everyone around us.  These words  – just nine letters and one apostrophe can have an incredibly detrimental effect on our ability to create new relationships, establish credibility and attract people to us.  Ready….?  Here they are:

“I’m just the…” 

As part of my core message on sales culture I have been talking about these three awful words for years.  Here is why:

  1. This expression is one we are so wired to say and it sends the message that “I don’t matter”. It’s akin to saying “please don’t take me seriously”.  It is the same as how we all the word “but” instead of “and”.
  2. It sends the clear message that you don’t have confidence in what you do and how you contribute every single day.  It’s commonly used as an answer to the question ” what do you do..”? This is perhaps the number one most asked business question.  When we are asked that question, we typically have a few seconds to make an impression.  Don’t waste that opportunity!
  3. It telegraphs your insecurities.  We all have them and anyone who suggests that they are not insecure at some level is actually insecure.  Secure people are ok with their insecurities and face them with courage and determination.  Life can be hard enough without adding to it with these three words.
  4. Clients and all decision makers like confidence.  Be confident and be able to articulate what you do quickly ( your value proposition) and capture people’s imagination and passion.  Don’t squander that golden opportunity with the following answer …” I’m just the” and then your title.  Snoozer.
  5. It’s competitive out there!  When we use these words you don’t differentiate or set yourself apart in any way.  You might as well say ” please ignore me and talk to the next person..”
  6. It’s all about attitude and mindset.  These words say much about your attitude and your mindset. Whether accurate or not – once the message is sent then perception is set. Then it becomes very hard to turn that ship around.  Don’t make things harder on your than need be.  Perception is reality.  You have heard that many times.

Now, if like the rest of us you have ever wondered why you have not gotten something you want, consider that your use of these three words might have gotten in your way.  One more point – even if you haven’t used the words specifically, you could still be telegraphing this attitude.  Watch your words and watch happens.

All the best. You ARE important and vital. Tell the world!

How to Book Todd for Your Next Meeting: 

Todd Cohen, CSP is an accomplished and sought after international k eynote speaker, sales culture expert and author of Everyone’s in Sales and Everyone’s in Sales; STOP Apologizing. Todd’s dynamic and motivational presentations are based on the foundation that regardless of career path or position, everyone is a salesperson. Since 1984, Todd has led sales teams to deliver more than $900 million in revenue for leading companies including Xerox and Thomson-Reuters. For more information or to book Todd Cohen for your next meeting please visit or call 866-515-9445 x 100.

1 thought on “Three Words to Avoid!”

  1. So true, Todd. We have to be conscious of not only our words but also our tone and attitude, as you point out. Nearly every interaction is an opportunity. Thanks for this insightful post!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart