Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stop 'Just' Doing Things!

I hear it countless times every week as I observe and coach the skills & behavior of sales professionals: "Mr. Customer, I just called to say..."  "Boss, I just wanted to ask..."  "Um, I just wanted to see if..."  "I was just doing..."

While there are several meanings for the word "just", the most common are "only" or "merely".  Compare these two statements: 
  • "Mr. Customer, I just called to make an appointment with you."  
  • "Mr. Customer, I called to make an appointment with you to determine if I could help your company increase bottom-line profits the way I have helped other leaders in your industry."
Which statement do you think would more likely result in an appointment?

When did we stop doing things... and start 'just' doing them?  Why do we think it's justified to take up someone's precious time to 'merely' say or do something?...  

Here are three suggestions to strengthen your messages:
  1. Stop or minimize your use of the word "just".  It serves no purpose other than to weaken your point.  (You don't even have to replace it with another word.  Simply remove it.)
  2. Make sure that you articulate the Value of your words and actions.
  3. If you don't plan on articulating your Value (or even worse, if you provide no real Value), stop wasting people's time.

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