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Of all the words in the English language that are disempowering, this one is near the top of my list.

It’s a trap and sales professionals fall into it repeatedly. “I tried, I gave it a try, I will try, I should try” and on and on.

I encourage you to ask the following question: “What is the action behind try and is there any commitment with it?”

Webster’s dictionary defines try as:

Verb- “to make an attempt at”

In Sandler, we work to be very intentional with our behaviors, our attitudes and our techniques, so much so that we often find ourselves calling each other out for the very words that we use. “Try” is one of them. Think about it this way… If I ask you, “Hey friend, I need some help this afternoon, could you swing by and give me a hand?” and you reply, “I’ll try”, I won’t have much confidence that you’ll show up, and if you do, I won’t be sure that you’ll actually help. “Try” does not inspire confidence in this example.

Try is one of those words that give us an instant out or excuse because of its ambiguity and unfortunately, we accept this ambiguity as action when it is often the furthest from it.

Take business development for example; we go about ‘trying’ all the time. Maybe I showed up at a networking event, looked around, had some food and talked to people that I’m comfortable with. I tried.

Or, I walk into a new prospect’s waiting area only to find a phone and a contact list at the front desk. I dialed 1 number and got a voicemail. I tried.

Or, I thought about making the calls that I must make and got distracted by emails to answer…I tried!

In the movie Star Wars, Yoda says the following to a young Luke Skywalker: Do. Or do not, there is no try. Intention is the key here. You either do it, or you don’t. It’s that simple.

I”ll challenge you with this…. Work to eliminate the word “try” from your vocabulary. It’s hard to do, but if you spend a week working to intentionally eliminate “try”, you’ll find that you likely use the word way more than you think you do, and you’ll be more empowered and intentional with your actions.

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