Secret Words

Secret Words

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

The three secret words are…

Oh, that’s horrible!

(said with extreme empathy and feeling)

These secret words not only stop the customer from complaining, but it lets you begin to get to resolve and solution. The customer does not want to hear a bunch of your lame excuses about why it didn’t work, or didn’t happen. They only want to know you CARE about them, and what you’re going to do about it – NOW!

When you say “Oh, that’s horrible, it immediately lets the customer know you’re on their side. The customer is expecting you to provoke an argument. When you say oh, that’s horrible – the argument’s over. Try it – the results are amazing.

Here are three success strategies to ensure a great team of responsible, service- oriented, customer-focused people:

  1. Hire happy people. Start with those most likely to succeed.
  2. Record yourself and your co-workers once a week.
    • Listen to how you sound.
    • Listen to your tone of voice.
    • Listen to how you take responsibility.
    • Listen to how you respond. Is that who you would want service from?
    • Listening to yourself is painful and powerful.
  3. Take some kind of training every day. If you want to be great, you must learn how to get there. (Managers…If you want great people it’s your responsibility to train them to be great.)