The Teeny Tiny Word That Screws Everything Up

I like to pride myself helping people feel ‘comfortable’ when it comes to selling one of my company products or our home party service. I didn’t realize that I was actually shooting myself in the foot when I used one teeny little word to do just that. And in essence, my follow ups and openings were weak. And all “weak” openings have something in common and it is all about one little teeny tiny word.

And I have to admit that I’ve heard both new and well experienced sales reps use this little word in a sales call or email. And now that I’m aware of it, I make a very concentrated effort never to use it.

So, what is this one, tiny, little word that can single-handedly kill a sales pitch, phone call, hostess coaching, voice message, or email, and can put you at a serious disadvantage of being ignored or blown off?


We really have to be very wary of the word “just.”
When you write or say “just,” you are basically seeking to “justify” your request and thinking you’re minimizing the impact of the intrusion.

For example:
You have to follow up on a lead from the web, and start off with:
“Hi Mary. I’m just following up, you requested to have a party from our website”

“Hi Emily. I was just calling to see if you had a quick minute to go over some important details about your upcoming party next week.”

Or maybe you sent someone an email after you sent them a catalog:
“Hi Linda. I just wanted to follow up and make sure you got the catalog I sent you.”

When you use the word “just” in your opening statement, what you are essentially saying is that you and what you’re offering is not as important as what your customer is currently doing. In their mind, “just” is a verbal signal that says, “OK, this interruption isn’t very important. It’s ‘just’ a salesman selling something. Let’s go back to playing on the computer.”

If you want to connect with more customers and hostesses, get their attention, close more sales, then bring value and respect for yourself. Go in with a strong opening statement. And remember, in that opening statement, get rid of the word “just”!



  1. You know, this is one of the hardest things to do and I found myself saying that often and am now trying to make a consious effort to make everything I say to prospects and hostesses important and worthy of their attention. Granted, this takes some practice but it’s worth it and your messages will be loud and clear and worthy of their attention!

  2. Lyrick,

    When I first read about the use of this word, I hit me on the side of the head with a clunk. I didn’t realize myself JUST how many times I was using it. Since then, I’ve noticed a considerable difference in responses and response times alone in emails. Also, I’ve noticed I feel more empowered when I ‘catch’ myself and consciously omit it. Do you know what I mean?