When I started my first company, at the tender and overly self-confident age of 28, one small word got in the way of my increasing revenue consistently. That word was “just”. I used it in my telephone conversations, like most people do, to be polite, to imply I would take only a minute of someone’s time. For example: “Jane Smith, it’s Mary Jane Copps calling from The Phone Lady and I’m just calling to … .” But politeness is not what’s heard on the other end. What’s heard is: “Jane Smith, it’s Mary Jane Copps calling from The Phone Lady and I’m calling you to tell you something completely unimportant.” Using the word “just” destroys the opportunity for dialogue and sets you up as an unwelcome intrusion in someone’s busy day. Eliminate it from your telephone vocabulary. Thanks to those sending in questions and comments. It’s exciting! I’ll be adding new content to this blog at the beginning of each week, but if you send in a question I’ll post an answer within 48 hours. I look forward to hearing from you.