Avoid “Non-Promising” Words

It’s so easy to look around at our competition and to assume that we should be doing whatever they’re doing.

This is often a huge mistake. Your future customers are looking for positive reasons to know they’ve found “the one”, which means they need to see positive signs of differentiation. They want to choose you!

Trying to look like the other players in your market is a great way to make it hard for your prospects to choose you.

Remember, in nature, animals come together in large numbers (shoals of fish, herds of wildebeest, flocks of birds) for a very good reason: to make it harder for predators to single them out!

That is precisely what you don’t want to be doing in your marketing!

One of the major purposes of a Circuit Review is to identify those factors that help you to know exactly what you’re about, what you do and don’t do, and what you’re promising the world… and to let your prospects see that clearly as well.

So if you find yourself donning the uniform of your competitors — STOP!

One way you’ll spot people who don’t know what they’re about is when they try to communicate their organization’s purpose using what I call “non-promising words.”

What Are Non-Promising Words?

You’ll know these. They’re ways of sounding like you’re saying you’re going to do something — without actually promising that you will.

(Just watch any news clip of a politician whose party is in power, and you’re bound to get a dose of greasy non-promise.)


  • “We aim to…”
  • “Our mission is to…”
  • “We are committed to…”
  • “Our goal is to…”
  • “Our primary objective is…”
  • “We stand for…”
  • “We are in the process of…”

What all these have in common is that they don’t actually promise anything! Instead, they all push action into an uncertain future.

If you catch yourself using any of these structures, it’s a sign that you need to stop copying the woolliness of the rest of the flock, and be really honest about what you DO stand for.

Copyright UPS Inc.

Copyright UPS Inc.

The Flip Side

The Circuit Questionnaire will help you to peel away the layers of what you really are about. You just need to be honest (notice I didn’t say, “You need to be committed to being honest”)

If you’re really going to stand for something, here are some ways you can share it passionately with the world…

  • “We will…”
  • “By [date] we will…”
  • “We believe that every… should…”
  • “We believe that no… should…”
  • “We help [people] to [achieve specific benefit]”
  • “We will never tolerate…”
  • “We love…”
  • “We hate…”
  • “We will not rest until…”
  • “We exist to…”
Ben Hunt

About the Author

Ben Hunt

Ben Hunt has over 20 years' experience in web design and marketing, and has written numerous books, courses, and presented at seminars round the world. In 2010 Ben created the world's most complete web design course, and in 2015 founded Open Source Marketing.

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