B2B Sales, Lead Generation and Marketing Blog

[B2B Sales Humor] The Top 100 Overused Business Clichés

Posted by Sean O'Neil on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 @ 15:11 PM

100 on the side of a workshop - represents 100 overused business clichesI overheard a colleague recently on the phone, speaking with a prospect. He must've used the phrase, "At the end of the day..." at least four times in the course of five minutes.

Now I find that every time I hear that cliché, it grates on me.

I walk through our call center, and hear numerous cliches being used daily. We have over 1,000 conversations a week cold calling for our customers and, as a sales outsourcing and b2b lead generation organization, all we talk to is business level decision makers.

To my surprise, our prospects return with their own clichés. Our nemesis are, "not in the budget", "Somewhere down the line" and "I'm not the one". Oh Joy! And then I hear, "Let's keep in touch" or "Can I reach out in a bit" instead of, "what options have you considered", "so ,what's in place is workin well" or "help me understand your role".

B2B Sales and marketing people are a fickle bunch, to be sure.  I'm positive that you have phrases you hear that drive you up a wall.

You know what's funny though? Occasionally, there's a new one. But we all essentially know the same lexicon. In one way or another, we interface with people often - clients, prospects, employees, and bosses.  Through the course of these thousands of interactions, we tend to hear the same clichés over and over. 

So I perused the internet for overused business clichés and ran across a list of phrases.  As I scanned the list, I chuckled a bit because I came across ones I use a hundred times a day, and others that just drive me crazy (for whatever reason). 

Here's the top 100 overused business clichés.

Maybe you'll get a chuckle too. (Be sure to comment if you have one we missed.)

  1. Thinking outside of the box
  2. Win-win situation
  3. Giving 110%
  4. Best Practices
  5. Synergy
  6. Paradigm Shift
  7. Low-hanging fruit
  8. Going forward
  9. Push the envelope
  10. Web 2.0
  11. Value-added proposition
  12. The 80%-20% rule
  13. Maximize customer satisfaction
  14. Core competency
  15. A leading provider of...
  16. Let's take this off-line
  17. Spending more time with my family
  18. Best of Breed
  19. Take it to the Next Level
  20. Drop the ball
  21. Bring our 'A' game . . . 
  22. Seamless integration
  23. Scalable
  24. At the end of the day....
  25. Brings a lot of value to the table
  26. It is what it is
  27. Robust
  28. Let's hit the ground running.
  29. 24/7
  30. Drinking Kool-Aid
  31. Maximize leverage
  32. Eco-anything
  33. Client-Centered
  34. Touch base
  35. Change Agent
  36. In Today's Highly Competitive Marketplace ...
  37. The bottom line
  38. Manage expectations
  39. Offline
  40. Actionable
  41. Multi task
  42. Impactful
  43. Let's be proactive here people
  44. Ballpark figure
  45. 800 pound gorilla
  46. Strategic...
  47. Win-win
  48. Marketing-driven
  49. Improve ROI
  50. Next Generation
  51. The iPod of ___insert industry___
  52. Six Sigma
  53. Circle back
  54. Out-Of-Pocket
  55. Putting lipstick on a pig
  56. Going from good to great
  57. Teamwork
  58. Has legs and can go really far...
  59. I don't have the bandwidth
  60. Let's get granular
  61. Rightsizing
  62. Today, more than ever...
  63. Put a stake in the ground
  64. Focused on ... (i.e. results)
  65. Viral
  66. Architect (used as a verb)
  67. Step up to the plate
  68. Faster, Cheaper, Better
  69. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater
  70. Now More Than Ever
  71. Downsizing
  72. Industry Standard
  73. Gotta raise the bar
  74. Net-net
  75. User-experience
  76. Integrated approach
  77. Do no evil
  78. Perfect storm
  79. The customer is always right
  80. The Elephant in the room (or the corner)
  81. Resonate
  82. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians
  83. Transparency
  84. A Plus for all Stakeholders
  85. In the _____ space
  86. Benchmark
  87. User-Focused
  88. Industry Leader
  89. From a _____ standpoint
  90. Thought Leader
  91. Team player
  92. Game changer
  93. Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes
  94. Moving up the value chain
  95. Boots on the ground
  96. The scenery only changes for the lead dog
  97. ________ on steroids
  98. Cast a wider net
  99. I'm not throwing him under the bus, but...
  100. SEO (to describe anything on the internet)

Wow! I sure do use a bunch of these. Wouldn't other businesspeople find it weird if I DIDN'T?

Topics: sales, fun

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