“4 Business Phrases That Should Be Outlawed!”

About a month ago we published a blog titled ‘4 Business Clichés to Avoid.’ The blog quickly grew into Lights Out Telecoms most popular post, enjoying the fanfare of being Tweeted, commented on and the very precious “like” button being clicked many times on several sites. Thank YOU!

So, we continue with part two in our new series of “Four Business Phrases” by focusing on:

 “4 Business Phrases That Should Be Outlawed!”

When it comes to the use of business terms we likely have our favorites, ones we feel are catchy and get the point across clearly and effectively. We also probably notice that many such phrases are overused, perhaps escalating to the level of abusing our ears with their sound. Wouldn’t it be great to outlaw the use of these overused axioms?

Sometimes these toxic sounds come from some of our most trusted and professional workmates. They allow a word or phrase to slip out which should be universally outlawed from every language’s vocabulary. No matter how much we like our fellow worker, some phrases are just unforgivable.

“4 Business Phrases That Should Be Outlawed!”

1. ‘To Tell You the Truth’ – This phrase should always be avoided as it immediately calls into question if telling the truth is your norm or something you only do on special occasions. If our practice is to be honest than we don’t need the mental trumpet blast of the words ‘To Tell You the Truth!”
2. ‘Been There, Done That’ – Where exactly have you been and what did you do while you were there? The likelihood is we really don’t want to know. The phrase is excessively overused and while it relates to basically saying I’ve been down that path and I won’t be going back, it’s a tacky and annoying phase that burns our very eardrums!
3. ‘Think Outside the Box’ – Years ago Taco Bell started a massive media blitz with the catchy phrase ‘Think Outside the Bun,’ it was a marketing bonanza and popular commercials resulted. Have you ever really thought about the core phrase ‘Think Outside the Box’ that our business associates use? What’s outside of the box? Everything else. So how groundbreaking and different are we if we’re thinking outside of the box? It may be better to stick to thoughts inside the box and let everyone else be common in their thinking. In fact George Patton once said ‘If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.’
4. ‘Low Hanging Fruit’ – Unless we own an orchard or sell our products to a fruit stand we should stay clear of this phrase. It’s used to describe going after the business which is most easily attainable. This should be part of our marketing and business plan and not used to drive our associates bananas.

So In Conclusion: ‘To Tell You the Truth’ we need to ‘Think Outside the Box’ because when it comes to grabbing the ‘Low Hanging Fruit’, ‘I’ve Been There, Done That.’

So which business phrases annoy you? Please let us know.

å lightsut company


20 thoughts on ““4 Business Phrases That Should Be Outlawed!”

  1. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

  2. I need to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely loved every little bit of it.

    I’ve got you bookmarked to look at new things you post…

  3. Great site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any community forums
    that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

  4. Nice points!

    Regarding the Outside of the Box Sindrome I would like to share that once I had the opportunity to read (I think it was from Seth Godin) that instead of “thinking outside the box” we should enlarge the box…

    Have a nice week!

  5. You pay for a product, say thank you for the service and the clerk says “no problem” YOU’RE kidding me, were you expecting a problem, it it usually a problem to pour a coffee and make change….the response is You’re welcome. Get real people, you are so far out of the groove it’s ridiculous, like I mean get with the program, already.

  6. The most irritating cliche for me is when they describe the word with its actual name.
    “business is busines”
    “work is work”
    “Mister Jones is Mister Jones you cannot do anything about it.”

  7. I’m more found of ” Truly I say to You” over “to tell you the truth”.

  8. Granted, what’s been said is valid, however at the center of the overused expressions is lazy communication. We have, what, some 26,000 words in the English language and rarely use one-tenth of them. Just to add to the pile, how about “you guys” even in business settings instead of simply “you?”

  9. I think the main reason for avoiding these overused and often misunderstood cliches are, they remove the focus on what must be said clearly if the order is to be secured without misunderstandings.
    None of the four stated are relevant to securing the sale, they are merely a distraction to the sales process.
    The failure of sales people to consciously know what they are staying is a real issue, often stemming from nervousness and/or lack of proper sales scripts and training.
    Some of the worst ‘automatic’ responses are “No problem”, “Is that all?” and “Trust me”.

  10. Um, calm down everyone! I think you’re all so phased about these expressions because you didn’t come up with them yourselves. Yes some of them are overused and therefore lose their weight but please, most of them deliver what it says on the tin! hahaha bet you hate this one two but the nice thing about them is that everyone knows what they mean without the speaker having to go around the houses. BTW, I’m not fond of cliches either, just think being so against cliches turns out to be a cliche itself! There!

  11. I really dislike the phrase” Let’ move that idea to the parking lot”

  12. I really dislike “bubble it up” as in “we need to bubble this up to upper management for their buy in.”

  13. “Think outside the box” is clearly the most irritating to me, and I hear it almost once a day. Talk about Cliche. Now we need a phrase to encourage us to think outside of the box of the think outside the box phrase.
    And how about ” I’m like…and he’s like…” instead of the word said or some other descriptive that we do have available in the English language?

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