To be honest, clichés are all around us in the business world.  In fact, 61% of offices report rampant abuse of clichés (source). Whether you’re trying to move the needle or think outside the box, the truth is the use of buzzwords or phrases in B2B communications gets in the way of productivity.

We’re all guilty of using the occasional buzzword. However, it’s important to cut fillers from our conversations and make each interaction count.

Before you send your next email or make your next phone call, make sure to cut these top clichés from your B2B communications :

Checking in/ touching base/ following up

No one wants to be nagged—and these three phrases often come across as such. Maybe the person hasn’t gotten around to responding or maybe they don’t ever plan to get back to you—but it’s not your job to police their behavior.

Instead of using these fillers, make sure you have an actual reason for your communications. When in doubt, start with, “The reason for my call today…” You can utilize marketing content to add value to your interactions throughout the buyer’s journey.

The truth is/to be honest

Were you lying before? Phrases like these are unclear and can make you seem untrustworthy. Remove phrases that cast doubt on what you’re saying and speak with conviction.

From a 30,000 foot view/from a high level

These two phrases are both filler-language that typically preface a general blanket statement about your products or services. Instead of talking in ambiguous terms, get straight to the value or benefit statement. The prospect will appreciate you getting to the point and you’ll also save time.

Thinking outside of the box

In 2014, this was one of the most overused phrases in the workplace and somehow it’s still hanging around today (source). Ironically, using it shows you don’t actually think outside the box. Instead use phrases like, “I took a different approach,” or “I looked at this from a different perspective.” This will help you communicate more effectively (and avoid eye rolls).

This is not a sales pitch/ I’m not trying to sell you

According to Seth Godin, “Clichés make it easy to talk without really saying anything. Clichés make it easy to hide and to lie.” Let’s face it, you are trying to sell something. It may not be a product or service, per say. At the end of the day, you want something. You know it and your prospect knows it. Be upfront about it.

Did I catch you at a good time?

Let’s face it, it’s almost never a good time to take a phone call or answer an email. By asking this question, you’re making the other person aware of how inconvenient your phone call is. Instead, start by establishing a reason for your call and getting to point as quickly as possible. No one likes wasting time.

Sorry I’m late, things are crazy around here

There is no substitution for this, just don’t be late. When you’re late you’re indirectly saying that your time is more valuable than the other person’s.

Our <insert product here> is the best

Yes, obviously this is true in your eyes – you’re the one selling it! However, instead of vague terms like “best”, communicate using specifics. Explain why your product or service outperforms the competition. Let the prospect be the judge of what’s best.

Every time you pick up the phone or send an email, you have the opportunity to make a good impression. Make an effort to eliminate these clichés from your vocabulary and you’ll gain more credibility and increase engagement with each meaningful conversation you hold.

Contact ZoomInfo today to see how our contact and company database can improve your B2B communications and increase your sales productivity.

About the author

Breda Hurley

Breda Hurley is Director of Customer Marketing at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact database and sales intelligence solution.

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