5 Words Which Drive Potential Business Partners Away

This post was guest blogged by Alan Johnson, the author of The Online Business Handbook.

If you are serious about establishing long-term partnerships then you definitely have to be careful when talking to a potential business partner. Here are 5 words you should think twice before using, since let’s just say that potential business partners won’t exactly be thrilled to hear them:

1) Maybe

If you use the word “maybe” too much then you will simply end up being seen as a person who is uncertain and it’s easy to understand why potential business partners won’t appreciate that.

A potential business partner wants to work with a person who is confident in his or her abilities and, unfortunately, you won’t be leaving such an impression if you use the word “maybe” too much.

2) Later

Just like, if you use the word “maybe” too much, you will be perceived as an uncertain person, you should avoid going overboard when it comes to the word “later” as well, since you would end up being seen as someone with a passive attitude, as someone who is afraid to take action and that is simply not the type of person others want to do business with and, as a result, being careful is always recommended.

3) Average

Sorry to burst your bubble there, but potential long-term business partners always want to work with the best and, even if only on a subconscious level, using the word “average” too often will trigger a reaction which will make them think twice before deciding to do business with you.

You should never see yourself as someone “average” when it comes to dealing with a potential business partner because the person in question will quickly pick up on that and the results won’t exactly be the expected ones.

4) Excuse

“We made this mistake in the past, but we have that as an excuse” – this is a clear example of something a potential business partner doesn’t want to hear, since that person will, without a doubt, end up seeing you as a person who is not willing to assume responsibility for his or her actions as a result of such an attitude.

You may think that you’re being smart with such an approach, but the truth is that it can and will backfire.

5) Cheap

Thinking that “cheap” is a word potential long-term business partners want to hear is an important mistake you need to steer clear of. Yes, they want worthwhile offers and yes, they won’t appreciate it if you try to overcharge for certain services, but labeling your offer as “cheap” will not exactly leave a great impression.

While it is true that people don’t like to pay too much for something, it’s just as true that, when it comes to potential business partners, they won’t want to do business with you altogether if they hear you labeling your offer as “cheap”.

You have to first explain how the offer in question can provide value to them and only afterwards explain why the deal is great for them financially as well (of course, without using the word “cheap” too much).


39 thoughts on “5 Words Which Drive Potential Business Partners Away”

  1. John says:

    Nice post, what you say is very clear and true. The same for partners is suitable for your boss and those that work for you or to your team. No difference.
    Its always related to be precise, accurate, strong, certain. And of course worth, not cheap. 🙄

  2. Useful tips Alan. I have tried hard to cut back on using the word maybe, and later especially in everyday language. I think it is important to use action words to help as well.

  3. MR. NICE GUY says:

    Great post. But I still believe there are pros and cons you should consider part of when you would like to venture into partnership.

    1. Robert says:

      There aren’t a lot of cons. The only one, really, is the amount of time you’d have to dedicate to the business. Other than that, the huge upside associated with starting a business outweighs any cons.

  4. Etienne Teo says:

    In business, never use terms like those and also those that gives people a lot of doubts on your words. be more confident in what you have in mind.

  5. This was a wonderful post – I get a lot of questions from my readers on this topic, and I always discourage the use of these words to my clients and colleagues.

    My friends who are investors always say that as soon as they see the words “cheap”, “bargain”, “probably”, “maybe”, “hopefully”, or the term “Million dollar idea”, they toss the business plan in the trash.

    1. Syed Balkhi says:

      yes agreed, I have talked to some investors as well and they seem to think the same way. Maybe and probably are the most important ones.

  6. king kong says:

    i dont know, seems like you gathered a bunch of word with bad connotation, and made it into a post.

    1. Sava says:

      actually he states that the articles was posted by Alan Johnson 😆

    2. Robert says:

      Even if it he did, those are words that carry negative connotations in many settings. They convey fear, doubt, lack of confidence and similar attributes. If you dive into a business with a partner that exhibits those attributes, you’re in trouble.

  7. jimsvarkey says:

    Let me add one more word to this list : I

    1. Sava says:

      😐 myself.
      I have a question. I see that your gravatar profile links to your blog. How did you do that 😀 ?

  8. Sha says:

    Great post. I’m always doing business with people & have never done those things.

  9. David Chew says:

    This few words sure need to be avoid if you want to seal a deal.

  10. Sava says:

    Later is the killer one. If you don’t have time for business (money) … then you surely don’t know what you’re doing

    1. Robert says:

      The word “later” equates to a procrastinater.

    2. John Esberg says:

      On another note, you should also be weary of using the word Cheap with customers. Inexpensive is the word of choice there. This is especially true when you are talking about the price of one of your own products.

  11. Jolin says:

    I have no chance to say there words at all. 😈

  12. Simon Lau says:

    Some good thoughts. I deal with a lot of PR directors/Marketing Managers and you always have to be careful what words you use with them. “Cheap” is definitely a no go in my books

  13. Hannah says:

    Definitely some great thoughts there! I especially agree with the first one. You have to be confident enough to always use absolute terms like “will”. Don’t even speak about how your business “would” change the world, speak about how it WILL.

  14. InfoDoorway says:

    Thanks for the tips, Alan. Many forget that there is so much more to blogging than the entries themselves. The networking aspect of it, and the professionalism, goes a long way towards ones success.

  15. Rob says:

    Yes, thank you very much, I will keep these tips in mind, Seeing as
    I do not have that much experience in this kind of stuff. Helped out a lot, thanks. Hopefully we will get to see more posts like this from you.

  16. Monetize Pro says:

    What is this post about? Just words? hmm, can’t see any value in this post. sorry

    1. Robert says:

      It absolutely has value. It has a very universal application. It’s about attitudes and perspectives. The words people use convey those attitudes and perspectives.

  17. make money says:

    Useful tips. I have tried hard to cut back on using the word maybe. I think it is important to use action words to help as well.

  18. make money says:

    Cheap is not the important word, I think. Because good things always are not cheap. 😐

  19. Andy Lee says:

    Not just words, Monetize. It is talking about the tips. Although I don’t agree all of these words.

  20. John says:

    For the people who don’t see de value of the post, is rare that people in internet cannot see the value of words.
    For people who say “monetize eh eh ” I say ok, is about monetize too. Only you can monetize your site if your most common words are those, either. Its my opinion Be Happy

  21. You are correct Mr. John. These words doesn’t show the surety or confidence of the sayer. SO it is natural that the people who search fortunes will be away from you.

  22. #6. Gary shit in his pants would qualify as one too

  23. Jeff Kee says:

    I never say “Cheap” – I say “cost effective” or “well priced” or “good value”… something along the positive and constructive stuff.

    This is really common sense to a lot of people actually, and choice of vocabulary, body language is often second nature to many confident and positive-minded people.

    1. Chetan says:

      I would say “affordable”

  24. John Esberg says:

    A little cultural perspective should be taking into account when you communicate too. A person in the midwest often must be approached different from someone who hails from NYC. In NY if you say I will try, they take it as if you are not going to give your full effort. On the other hand, you can severely anger someone from North Dakota if you try to bite them for using the same words since their work ethic is often the number one source of pride.

  25. erika says:

    This are the perfect reason to be more confident.

  26. Wade says:

    You should always over sell yourself. Sound confident, not I guess or I think. Don’t ever self doubt or critisize yourself, your readers will then have doubt in you. Don’t flat out lie, but beef it up a little bit to sound super confident!

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

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