It’s all in the word choice.

If you’re on the same Instagram Reel or TikTok algorithm as me lately, you’ve probably seen these videos. The ones that tell you to never use phrases like “how are you” or “just following up” when reaching out to a prospect. And they have a point.

“Communication works for those who work at it” -John Powell

Most of the time, we fall back on these lines when we don’t know what to say or are a bit nervous. They are a HABIT. Similar to the habit of responding with “good, thanks” or good, and you?”

Slightly changing your words will get you and the responder out of auto-response and will create impact. But don’t rule them out completely.

Different is Better: Be very mindful of your use of words and work to communicate differently.

How are you? Gong analyzed 90,380 outbound, connected cold calls and they found that using the phrase “How have you been?” created a 10.01% success rate in booking meetings compared to the 1.5% baseline. Notice the slightest tweak in the wording?

Just following up. First, eliminate the word “just.” “Just” is a filler word and can give the impression that we are unprepared or unsure of our message. It acts as a “buffer” for comfort. Embrace discomfort to achieve comfort, everyone!

Instead, use “Following up.” I bet you didn’t expect that suggestion. :) Use it wisely. It tends to increase open rates in emails but can slightly decrease booking rates by about 5%. When using this phrase, ensure you add value by including industry trends or specific information about the recipient or their company to enhance value and build credibility.

Hope this finds you well. Keep it. In more research from Gong, they found that starting off with Hope this finds you well increases reply rates and increases booked meetings to around 24%! But add to it, don’t keep it generic. For example; Hope this finds you well after your successful conference last month (noticed the post on LinkedIn).


As you continue to work on your communication skills, remember to consistently provide value.

Show Me You Know Me (SMYKM):

Earn the right to pitch by demonstrating that you understand your prospect. Show that you’ve done your homework and genuinely care about their needs.

Link Challenge to Solution:

Connect the dots between the challenges your prospect faces and the solutions you offer. This makes your pitch relevant and compelling and keeps the focus on them.

By rethinking our approach and incorporating these strategies, we can enhance our interactions and drive better results. Let’s embrace the power of saying the right thing at the right time in the right way.

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