7 Awful Sales Phrases To Avoid: Advice From An SEO Guy

awful sales phrases

I’m not the zen master of sales by any means, but I’ve spent a crap load of time around salespeople. Before I came to Sales Hacker, I was leading SEO operations for a well known SaaS CRM brand, and my desk was right next to the island of SDRs. On a typical day, I’d overhear approximately 20 to 30 outbound sales calls – and while most of them were magnificent, I’d occasionally overhear some awful sales phrases.

7 Awful Sales Phrases! Where’s My Eavesdropping Etiquette?

Look, I’m an SEO geek. What the hell do I know about making outbound sales calls? My whole life has been inbound marketing. But to keep it classy, I’d never approach an SDR directly and give them “feedback” from eavesdropping.

To me, that’s just not cool. Instead, I would quietly give the Sales Manager some feedback about the awful sales phrases, and leave it to management to provide sales coaching. Last thing I’d want to do is create an environment where salespeople are uncomfortable because of nosy marketing guys like me.

Side Note: I ain’t nosy! You just can’t help but overhear these things in an open office environment.

Without further delay, here’s feedback from the SEO guy.

“Like I Said”

This one is sneaky. It’s one of those phrases that happens very fast during sales conversations. Often, the person using the phrase may not realize the negative impact. It implies that the listener isn’t able to absorb the conversation, and could be perceived as demeaning to a prospect. Overall, it’s a worthless filler statement that does more harm than good.

Common use of the phrase:

“And like I said, if you have any questions you can email me and I’ll follow up with you.”

“And Again”

This one is utterly painful to hear. It suggests that the listener can’t internalize the conversation.

Common use of the phrase:

“And again, we do integrate with {SaaS Brand X}, so if you can’t automate your email sequence using your mobile device, just try the integration. “

“As I Mentioned Before”

This is a softer semantic variation of “Like I Said” but still passes the same sentiment. It comes across as being annoyed that you have to explain something twice.

Common use of the phrase:

“As I mentioned before, our free plan allows you to get started, but you’ll need to upgrade if you want more bells & whistles.”


This one is similar to “literally” in that it’s an adverb ending in “ly” that doesn’t add value to the conversation. It’s just a filler word that perpetuates emptiness or lack of certainty.

Common use of the phrase:

“We’re basically the top sales dashboard solution in the enterprise market.”


I’ve heard this phrase used in all sorts of wacky variations. Most notably, the cheesy reinforcement of one’s own idea, but too often it’s used to ineffectively highlight a fairly obvious observation.

Common use of the phrase:

“So as you’re refining the sales process, optimizing your sales stack is a critical part of the equation. Right?”


Even if your product is cheaper, it’s an awful way to talk about yourself. There’s tons of other great ways to say “cheaper” without expressing the sentiment of a lesser quality product.

Instead of cheaper, try something like “Best value at this price point” or “An economical option.”

Common use of the phrase:

“Yeah we’re way cheaper than Competitor X”

“Just Checking In”

Man I really hate this one! Are you really checking in? Did the customer ask for that? I get SEO software cold emails all the frickin’ time. One company was so persistent that they got my phone number (somehow) after I ignored the same duplicate cold email template FROM TWO DIFFERENT REPS.  You can guess what I told them!

Common use of the phrase:

“Hey Gaetano, I’m just checking in because you didn’t respond to my emails.”

Final Words From The SEO Guy

I come in peace, I mean no harm! I’d want salespeople to tell me if I’m dropping the ball. These are pretty awful sales phrases, but they are commonly used outside of sales as well. Can we just call for a business-wide ban on these phrases already?

So like I said before, I’m basically checking in here. And again, I’m just trying to provide value to my team. That’s okay, right?  As long as it’s not cheap feedback, we should be good!

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