Here’s a Phrase You Need to Stop Saying

I read this phrase on LinkedIn all the time.  I hear it on the radio and in ads.  And it shows a basic misunderstanding about how to make people buy what you’re selling, or to take the advice you have to give.  If you listen, you’ll notice that you hear it all the time.

Here’s the phrase:

“I’d love to…”

Some common examples:

  • I’d love to meet with you to tell you more about the time shares I’m selling!
  • I’d love to sit down for a coffee and explain more about what I do!
  • I’d love to see you sign on with me as your realtor/lawyer/accountant/plumber/developer, whatever.

Of course you’d love to.  It’s to your benefit!  You’ll make more money or push your agenda forward in some other way if only you could have their ear for a few minutes.

Here’s the grim truth:

No one cares what YOU would love to do.  They care what THEY would love to do.

This shows a basic misunderstanding about why people buy anything or listen to anyone.

Back in the day, I used to give a retailers that I worked with a book.  It’s an old one, and the ideas are as relevant today as they ever were.  It’s called “How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life.”

In the book, the author reveals two questions.  One gold, one platinum.

Here’s principle #1.  It’s called the golden question:

What’s your unmet want?

You have no interest in what I would love you to do, but you’re OBSESSED with fixing your own problems and filling your unmet want.

It’s my job (and yours) to figure out what that is.

Frame things so they are in your hearer’s best interest, not yours

You might say, “I have an interesting idea about how you could take an amazing holiday year after year, and do it for a lot less money than you’re spending now.  Interested in hearing more?

They might be!  Now you’re getting somewhere.  But they don’t care that you’d love to sit down with them and talk about it.  They care about how to take an affordable amazing holiday.   And you can help them with that!

Because you’re appealing to their unmet want, not your desire for making a commission selling a time share.

Here’s principle #2 from the book.  The platinum question:

How can I/we do better?

Are there unmet wants you’re not meeting?

In today’s fast paced world, you’re better off trying to anticipate how you can do better and just doing it rather than sending out a customer survey.  Who has time to complete these surveys?  We want YOU to figure out what we want!

The person who can figure out the unmet want is king (or queen)!

When you can anticipate how they would like things to be better, and go ahead and MAKE them better you’re… emperor? Imperatrix?  Is that the right word for a female emperor?

But whatever you do, stop saying, “I’d love to,” and start meeting the unmet want.  Start figuring out how to do better.

Frame things so they are to the benefit of the other person, not to your benefit.

Your results will change immediately when you do.

Getting ahead is about getting started!


Trevor head shot in office 1

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

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    4 thoughts on “Here’s a Phrase You Need to Stop Saying”

    1. Great insights Trevor! I really enjoy your weekly motivational emails!

      Yes, it is easy to lose focus on “our customers” and instead focus on trying to find ways to promote our products (throwing paint at a wall, and hope it sticks).

      If only we would remember that ‘We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak’.

    2. Marilyn Westbrook

      Im always inspired by your straight forward messages Trevor. This weeks message was exactly what I was talking about to my colleague this morning about what “I’d love to do. better…..” The key thing is to be intentional and do it. Thankyou again for your words of inspiration every week as it has motivated me by hearing it said from 3rd party credibility not just my own thoughts.

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