Say what you mean – to be honest


A prior briefing discussed “Junk Words and Phrases” and how you should focus on eliminating them from your vocabulary and from all customer communications. Remember that Junk Words and Phrases are just extra words that creep in to our language, but they provide no context or meaning. Without them, your verbal communication will just sound clearer and more professional.


Sometimes salespeople will begin a statement, or answer a question that starts with 


“Honestly,” or “to be honest,” or “to tell the truth . . .”


These are junk words and you should work in eliminating them completely. 


Let’s say a customer asks a question: “How do you recommend we proceed?” 


You reply: ““Honestly, the best approach is to start your program tomorrow.” 


Or the customer asks: “Are you sure that is how this works?” 


You reply: “To be honest, that is how it works”


Or the customer asks: “How long before you can ship?”


You reply: “To tell the truth, we usually ship within 48 hours”


I know, you are trying to assure your customer that you are genuine and truthful, but whenever you preface your statement with  Honestly,” “to be honest,” or to tell the truth”,


your customer could be thinking: “Whenever you don’t use the preface of “honestly”, “to be honest”, or “to tell the truth” are you really lying? Are you not being honest or truthful?”


You are actually raising doubts about whether you are trustworthy. 


Leave out those meaningless prefaces and just get to your point. Your credibility and believability will be much higher. 


I’m DJ Sebastian. To learn more about what it takes to Become a Great Communicator, visit my website at