You use it don’t you?

You probably just used it.

Take the word “just” out of your new business vocabulary now and your outreach will improve for it.

It seems harmless and it’s ubiquitous, but it can undermine your efforts.

I’ve found myself doing it and it wasn’t until a recent agency client brought up how many sales emails she gets with that word at the forefront that I really thought about it:

“I’m just checking in”

“Just wanted to see where things stood “

“Just wondering if you’re still interested”

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard the admonition to avoid that type of phrasing, but as we all tend to, you can fall into the habit.

Just Is Part Of Your New Business Vocabulary-Kill It With Fire

A quick Google search backs this up:

Per Emma Brudner at HubSpot:

Inserting words such as “just” or “actually” or phrases such as “I’m not sure” before a statement is called “couching,” and it’s not a good technique if you want to sound self-assured. . .”In certain situations, it’s a great tactic. But in other situations, it can make you seem weak.”

In a sales engagement, the addition of “just” can take a negative toll on a buyer’s perception of a seller fast.

And an interesting take on the use of the word internally from Bonnie Marcus via Forbes:

I’m convinced that even if we take one small step and eliminate the word “just” from our communication, we would see a huge difference in the way we are perceived in the workplace. I am amazed how much I use this word unnecessarily and unconsciously.  “I’m just checking in to see…”.  “I just want you to know”. “I just called because..” . My new awareness of the impact of this one word has now forced me to carefully choose my words in order to reflect more confidence.

A small change, but one you should try making today.

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Lee McKnight Jr
VP of Sales at RSW/US
I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.