Are You Using Words That Make Clients Question Your Honesty?

BY Jessica Helinski
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Trust is vital to any relationship, and sales reps in particular are often scrutinized for dishonesty. You may think that your honesty is clear but words you use may cause prospects and clients to question it. Minda Zetlin, in an article for Inc., shares 15 common phrases that may make you appear dishonest. It’s important to be mindful of these phrases even if you never lie, as Zetlin writes, “…being truthful won't help you if people think you're a liar.”

Below are just a few of the phrases you should avoid, according to her article:

  • Believe me. Dishonest people often use this phrase, literally commanding others to believe them.
  • As far as I know. When speaking, only state what you know to be true, think to be true, and believe to be true. “You may just be trying to be super-​accurate, but your listener may assume you're leaving yourself an out when your statement turns out to be false,” Zetlin explains.
  • The real issue is… This phrase redirects the conversation to a different topic, which can make you appear evasive.
  • To tell you the truth. This is another phrase that may alert others to potential dishonesty, suggesting that you don’t always tell the truth.
  • How can you doubt me? “Liars often go on the offensive, acting angry or hurt if you seem to distrust them,” she writes. Those who tell the truth won't be offended if questioned.

It’s important that the language you use reflects your true self–and your honesty. Salespeople, in particular, must do what they can to gain others’ trust. By avoiding the phrases Zetlin highlights, you prevent raising red flags about your true intentions.