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270 Words & Terms To Avoid When You Sell

To sell effectively, you need to communicate well and be remembered. Unfortunately, many sales and marketing professionals use terminology that make them sound like every content-free corporate weasel who trotted out a business cliche.

Here is a comprehensive list of 270 biz-blab words and terms that you should avoid in your sales pitches, sales presentations, and daily conversation. You might want to bookmark this post, because it's a useful list when you're reviewing documents that customers might end up seeing.

(Related post: Craft an Elevator Pitch in 6 Easy Lessons)

A

  • absolutely (when used instead of "yes")
  • accountability
  • action items
  • actionable
  • actualize
  • address the issue
  • all-hands meeting
  • alpha office
  • alternative
  • analysis paralysis
  • analytics
  • aperture moments (as a synonym for media outlets)
  • architect
  • aspiration statement
  • at the end of the day, or at day's end
B
  • back-end
  • backward-compatible
  • ballpark
  • bandwidth
  • been-there-done-that
  • benchmark(ing)
  • best of breed
  • best practice
  • between a rock and a hard place
  • big picture
  • bio-break
  • blamestorming
  • bleeding edge
  • blue-sky thinking
  • boil the ocean
  • boilerplate
  • bottom line
  • brainstorm(ing)
  • brick-and-mortar
  • bucketize
  • business case
  • business silo
  • buy-in
  • buzzword compliant
C
  • cash neutral
  • center of excellence
  • challenge (when used as a euphemism for "problem")
  • champion (used as a verb)
  • change agent (or catalyst)
  • chart it out
  • circle back
  • client focus(ed)
  • client-centric
  • closure
  • cluster team(s)
  • commoditize
  • communicate
  • communications channels (as a synonym for media outlets)
  • componentize
  • conceptualize
  • contribution, contributor
  • co-opetition
  • core competence
  • credibility
  • critical path
  • cross-platform
  • customer-centric
  • customer-focused
  • cutting-edge
D
  • deliverables
  • disintermediate
  • diversity
  • dog and pony show
  • downsize
  • downward trend
  • drill down
  • drinking the kool-aid
  • drop back and punt
  • dysfunctional
E
  • eat your own dog food
  • ecosystem
  • emotional leakage
  • empower(ment)
  • enable(r)
  • end-to-end
  • enterprise-wide
  • envisioneer
  • e-tize
  • event horizon
  • excellence
  • experiencing slippage
  • exponential(-ly)
F
  • facilitate
  • fact of the matter
  • fast track
  • flattening
  • flexible
  • flowchart (used as a verb)
  • framework
  • front-end
  • fulfillment issues
  • functionalities
  • future-proof
G
  • game plan
  • gap analysis
  • glass is half full
  • globalize
  • go the extra mile
  • goal-oriented
  • goal-setting
  • going forward
  • going forward (in the future)
  • granular
  • grow revenues
  • grow the business
H
  • half-pregnant
  • heads up
  • health break
  • heavy lifting
  • herding cats
  • high-level
  • holistic
I
  • ideation
  • impact (used as a verb)
  • implement
  • in the loop
  • incentivize
  • industry-leading
  • information superhighway
  • infomediaries
  • information logistics
  • infrastructure
  • in-market for (instead of "in the market for")
  • innovate
  • integrated
  • intellectual capital
  • involuntary retirement
  • issue
K
  • key (adjective)
  • knowledge base
  • knowledge management
L
  • leadership
  • leading-edge
  • lean & mean
  • leverage
  • literally (when incorrectly used in place of figuratively)
  • living document
  • logistically
  • long tail
  • long-term
  • low-hanging fruit
  • low-risk high-yield
M
  • management visibility
  • market segment
  • matrix (used as a verb)
  • mentor(ing)
  • methodology
  • metrics
  • mindset
  • mindshare
  • mission critical
  • mission statement
  • monetize
  • moving parts
  • multitask(ing)
N
  • nailing Jell-O to a tree
  • negative growth
  • network(ing)
  • new economy
  • next generation
  • next level
  • nimble
  • not rocket science
O
  • offline
  • offshoring
  • on the same page
  • open kimono
  • operationalize
  • opportunity (when used as a euphemism for "problem")
  • optimization
  • out of the loop
  • out-of-the-box
  • outside the box
  • outstanding
  • ownership
  • oxymoron(ic)
P
  • paradigm
  • partner (used as a verb)
  • peel the onion
  • performance-based
  • play hardball
  • position (used as a verb)
  • power shift
  • principle-centered
  • prioritize
  • priority (used as an adjective)
  • proactive
  • process review
  • productize
  • proprietary
  • push the envelope
Q
  • quality vector
R
  • ramp up
  • reach out
  • reality check
  • recontextualize
  • reengineer(ing)
  • regroup
  • repurpose
  • resource constrained
  • result(s)-driven
  • revisit
  • rich media
  • rightshoring
  • rightsize
  • risk effect
  • risk management
  • robust
  • rounding error
  • rubber stamp
S
  • scalable
  • scenario
  • schedule compressed
  • sea change
  • seamless
  • secret sauce
  • siloed
  • singing from the same hymnal
  • skill set
  • slip/slipped through the cracks
  • smartsize
  • solutionary
  • solutioning
  • soup to nuts
  • stand-alone
  • state-of-the-art
  • strategic fit
  • strategic gap
  • streamline
  • stretch the envelope
  • suggestion box
  • sustainability
  • synergy
T
  • tactical
  • tail risk
  • take that off-line
  • talking points
  • task force
  • team (dynamics, player, building)
  • tee up
  • that said,...
  • think outside the box
  • third generation
  • tiger team
  • timely (especially "on a timely basis")
  • tip of the iceberg
  • top of the house
  • touch base
  • train wreck
  • transition (when used as a verb)
  • turn-key
  • turnkey solution
U
  • ubiquitous
  • user-centric
  • utilize
V
  • validate
  • value chain
  • value proposition
  • value-add
  • vertical integration
  • visibility
  • vision statement
W
  • whiteboard (when used as a verb)
  • win-win
  • world class
Extra:
  • 24/7 (or 24/7/365)
  • 360-degree survey
READERS: Any more that should be added??

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