Five Phrases They Hate to Hear

angry-girl-phone-medLast week I was part of a bizarre conversation.

What happened?

I phoned my cable TV provider to ask why the current billed amount is higher than the previous invoice.

Her surprising answer:

“Don’t you know by now that our rates go up every year?”

(In other words: “You are really a dummy.”)


She was either having a very bad day or had not been trained in good customer service skills.

Or maybe she had heard that question one too many times and was totally annoyed.

This experience reminded me of the sales-killer words and phrases we talk about in my e-Courses.

The 5 Worst Phrases to Say to Clients

Certain phrases and words are almost guaranteed to lose a customer or kill a sale.


  1. “You do want to save money, don’t you?”

(Dumb question. Who wouldn’t?)

  1. “We can’t do that.”   Better: “In cases like this, we can help you by . . .”
  2. You’ll have to . . . ”   Better: “What I will ask you to do is . . .”
  1. “You’re confused” or – “you’re wrong.”   (Guaranteed to anger the customer.)
  2. “That’s not my department.”
    This is a phrase that sends the message:   “I can’t help you and we don’t really care about your business.”

Suggestion for the person who answered my question about my cable TV price increase:

When someone calls to inquire about a price or billing issue (and you don’t handle billing issues) the best way to answer the question is:

“The real expert in billing situations is [name of the person who handles
] and I can connect you now or ask her to call you back. Which would
you prefer?”

Or . . . just follow the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.

Ever have a bad day?

CLICK HERE to read the three best ways to motivate yourself.