Things to Avoid Saying on a Sales Call: A Guide to Effective Communication

We welcome you to our blog post which aims to provide a comprehensive guide on effective communication during sales calls. In this article, we will shed light on crucial points that we, as seasoned professionals, suggest avoiding when engaging with potential clients. By identifying and refraining from these common missteps, we can maximize our chances of achieving successful sales outcomes. So, let’s delve into the key things to avoid saying on a sales call in order to enhance our communication skills and improve our sales performance.

Table of Contents

Things to Avoid Saying on a Sales Call: A Guide to Effective Communication


In today’s highly competitive business environment, effective communication is crucial in sales calls. The way we speak and the words we choose can significantly impact the outcome of our conversations with potential clients. This article aims to highlight certain phrases and words that should be avoided, and provide alternative approaches to ensure a positive and impactful sales call.

1. Avoid using the word “honestly” as it can make our previous statements seem dishonest.

It is important to be genuine and trustworthy during sales calls, but using the word “honestly” can undermine this. Instead, focus on providing accurate and transparent information throughout the conversation, so that our credibility shines through without the need for such a qualifier.

2. It is best not to use the word “cheap” as it devalues our offer. Instead, use words like “cost-effective.”

While it is important to highlight the affordability of our products or services, using the word “cheap” can create a negative perception. Instead, focus on emphasizing the value and cost-effectiveness of what we offer. By doing so, we position ourselves as providers of exceptional value rather than simply being inexpensive.

3. The word “contract” should be substituted with words like “agreement” to avoid negative connotations.

Using the word “contract” can sometimes invoke negative associations, such as legal restrictions and obligations. To create a more positive communication experience, consider using alternatives like “agreement” or “partnership” to convey a sense of collaboration and mutual benefit.

4. We should find alternatives to using the word “but” as it implies negativity.

The word “but” has a tendency to negate everything that comes before it, potentially undermining the positive aspects of our conversation. To maintain a constructive dialogue, consider using transitional phrases like “however” or “on the other hand” that provide a smooth transition between contrasting ideas without generating a sense of negativity.

5. The word “obviously” should be avoided as it can come across as condescending.

When we use the word “obviously” in a sales call, it can inadvertently make our prospects feel belittled or patronized. Instead, focus on clearly articulating the points we want to convey and ensure that they are easily understood without the need for unnecessary qualifiers.

6. It is better to refrain from using the words “deal” or “sale” as they can make prospects feel like just a number. Instead, use words like “engagement” or “partnership.”

Words like “deal” or “sale” can give the impression that we are solely focused on closing the sale without considering the long-term relationship with our clients. By using more inclusive terms like “engagement” or “partnership,” we convey our commitment to working together and fostering a mutually beneficial relationship.

7. We should avoid bragging about ourselves and focus on the prospect’s business.

While it is important to showcase our expertise and demonstrate our capabilities, it is equally crucial to keep the focus on the prospect’s needs and challenges. By showing genuine interest in their business and aligning our solutions to their specific goals, we establish trust and create a personalized experience that resonates with their aspirations.

8. Never complain about other clients as it shows a lack of appreciation and value for them.

Speaking ill of other clients not only reflects poorly on our professionalism, but it also reveals a lack of appreciation for those who have entrusted us with their business. It is essential to maintain confidentiality and respect for all clients, regardless of their status or tenure. By consistently displaying respect and appreciation, we create an environment of trust and inspire loyalty from our clients.

9. Speaking poorly about competitors displays insecurity. Instead, emphasize why we are a better fit for the prospect.

In a competitive market, it can be tempting to criticize competitors in an attempt to highlight our strengths. However, this approach often backfires as it shows insecurity and a lack of confidence. Instead, focus on the unique value that we bring to the table and how it aligns with the prospect’s specific needs, effectively positioning ourselves as the superior choice without resorting to negative comparisons.

10. Disagreeing with prospects can create tension in the conversation. Find a positive way to address their concerns.

While it may be tempting to counter a prospect’s objections or concerns, it is essential to avoid direct confrontation. Instead, employ active listening skills and empathize with their perspective. By acknowledging their concerns and addressing them in a positive and constructive manner, we demonstrate our willingness to collaborate and find mutually agreeable solutions.

11. Avoid using the word “problem” as it has a negative connotation. Use words like “challenge” instead.

The word “problem” can evoke negativity and imply difficulty or obstacles. Instead, reframe our language by using words like “challenge” or “opportunity.” This subtle shift in terminology creates a more optimistic and solution-oriented environment, encouraging prospects to view their situation as a chance for growth and improvement.

12. The word “pitch” comes across as too salesy. It is better to use a more genuine approach.

While a sales call inherently involves pitching our products or services, using the word “pitch” can come across as overly salesy and insincere. Instead, focus on providing valuable insights, personalized recommendations, and tailored solutions. By adopting a more genuine and consultative approach, we foster a sense of trust and position ourselves as trusted advisors.

13. Discounts devalue our work and can lead to future expectations of lower prices. Instead, offer additional value or services to match the perceived value of the price.

While discounts may be tempting to close a deal, they can devalue our work and establish a precedent for future negotiations. Instead, consider offering additional value or supplementary services that enhance the perceived worth of the investment. By providing extra benefits, we maintain the perceived value while still offering attractive incentives.


Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful sales calls. By avoiding certain phrases and choosing our words carefully, we can create a positive and impactful experience for potential clients. Remember to focus on the prospect’s needs, demonstrate genuine interest, and emphasize the value we provide. By doing so, we increase the likelihood of forming lasting partnerships and achieving sales success.


  1. What is the importance of effective communication in sales calls?

Effective communication in sales calls is crucial as it helps build trust and rapport with potential clients. It allows us to understand their needs, address their concerns, and present our solutions in a compelling manner.

  1. Is it necessary to avoid using the word “but” during sales calls?

Using the word “but” can introduce negativity and undermine positive aspects of the conversation. To maintain a constructive dialogue, it is beneficial to use transitional phrases that bridge contrasting ideas without generating a sense of negativity.

  1. Why should we avoid speaking poorly about competitors?

Speaking poorly about competitors reflects insecurity and can damage our professionalism. Instead, it is more effective to highlight our unique value proposition and why we are a better fit for the prospect.

  1. How can we address prospect concerns without creating tension?

To address prospect concerns without creating tension, active listening and empathy are key. By acknowledging their concerns and offering constructive solutions, we create a positive environment for collaboration and problem-solving.

  1. What is the alternative to offering discounts during a sales call?

Instead of offering discounts, consider providing additional value or supplementary services to enhance the perceived worth of the investment. This approach maintains the perceived value while offering attractive incentives.

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