Cold Emailing Prospects – 5 Phrases To Avoid

If you’re using cold emails to sell a service and you’re using any of the phrases that I’m going to share with you in this post… Then you’re sabotaging your efforts to get deals done.

Using these phrases in your cold, prospecting emails is like driving to your prospects office, slapping them in the face…

Then driving back to the office and sending them an email.

You’re stopping yourself from getting deals done.

So lets get into the 5 phrases.

#1 BUT…

The first thing you must avoid saying in your cold emails is “I know you’re busy, but…”.

You may think that you’re being considerate but that word “but” undermines and good intentions that you may have.

You’re saying, I know you’re in pain BUT I don’t really care.

Instead, if you know for a fact that your prospect is super busy, pitch them a way to connect that will give them the value of your conversation but with less of a burden of their time.

So you could say “I know you’re busy right now because it’s the end of the quarter and so I’ve listed 5 ways I can help with your revenue below…”

#2 JUST…

Another word to avoid is saying “just”.

This makes you sound weak. Think about it like this, if you really did have a game changing service to offer your prospect, would you say “I was just hoping to get on the phone with you on Wednesday” or would you say “Does it make sense to jump on the phone on Wednesday?”

Using the word “just” is passive, it suggests that you’re hoping the prospect will respond to you.

Instead, be direct, clear and assertive with your messaging.


Next don’t say “I’m sorry for my persistence”.

If you’ve sent more than a couple of follow up emails, then your level of persistence is clear. You lose your authority as soon as you apologise for something that you believe your correct in doing.

Think of it like this, your doctor wouldn’t apologize for leaving you 2 voicemails and 4 emails to tell you some important new about some recent medical test results would they?

They know that the service they’re offering is important to you.

So if you’re apologising all the time for being persistent with your follow up, you need to figure out if you really believe the value that you’re pitching your prospects is real.


Founder, executives, senior management… the people who have the budget that you’re chasing…

They have an incredible demand for their time at work.

Why on earth would they give you, an outsider that is trying to take their budget time to “pick their brains?” when they don’t have enough time to get their own work done?

Never ask if you can “just pick someone’s brains”. It’s overused, vague and no productive person is going to respond to it.


Similarly never ask for someone to respond “when they have a moment…”. You need to be clear and assertive with your requests otherwise your prospects will not take action on them.

You need to make it easy for a prospect to reply to you without thinking.

I like to write –

“Does it make sense to do X? If so lets do it on Wednesday this week”.

Here you’re giving the prospect an option to say no so they don’t feel like you’re manipulating them but at the same time you’re giving them a very easy pathway to responding yes if Wednesday works for them.

So there are 5 phrases that you should avoid with your cold email prospecting.

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