1 Word That Immediately Kills Your Credibility

TIME


This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources, and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

I have watched more salespeople and companies pitch their ideas over the years than I care to count. And during thousands of interviews with consumers about how they use different products and services and respond to marketing messages, I have honed the craft of ferreting out telltale signs of lies and omissions.

From that experience, I am going to let you in on a little secret about a word you should stop using immediately.

It is “actually.”

For the experienced listener, “actually” is a dead giveaway of an area that at the least needs to be further investigated, and may point at a deception.

Let me explain. When you use the word “actually” properly, you are comparing two thoughts and providing clarification.

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