Are You Being Labeled As An Empty Suit? Would You Even Know?

“Illusion is needed to disguise the emptiness within.”

Arthur Erickson

What are you disguising? What are you hiding? Is there an illusion being portrayed?

Let’s dive into this for a moment and look int the essential meaning of illusion as defined by Merriam-Webster…

Something that looks or seems different from what it is: something that is false or not real but that seems to be true or real

An incorrect idea: an idea that is based on something that is not true

How are you presenting yourself to your clients?

How are you being viewed by your clients?

Does the walk match the talk?

What is true and not true?

“We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.”

Iris Murdoch

Let this quote sink in as I take you back in time to 1977 as I introduce you to Styx and the Grand Illusion… As some of you are reading, you’re singing this out loud…

Welcome to the Grand illusion

Come on in and see what’s happening

Pay the price, get your tickets for the show

The stage is set, the band starts playing

Suddenly your heart is pounding

Wishing secretly you were a star

You see, sales professionals deep down inside, do not wish they were a star, they know they are a star… in the minds of their clients, future clients and out into the community.

They lead with intention. They are congruent with their actions. They carry themselves with confidence. They are the example. There is no illusion.

Sales professionals align their vision and values to earn the respect of their clients. With purposeful intent, they engage in heartfelt activities benefitting all those around them.

Your clients do not want a grand illusion nor an empty suit. Your clients, future clients and community crave a sales professional who is heartfelt, sincere and fills out a suit with empathy, emotion and excitement.


“Being a self-leader is to serve as chief, captain, president, or CEO of one’s own life”


Sales professionals hold themselves personally accountable and self-manage themselves to a higher degree of standards than all the other empty suits.

They are effective in opening business conversations as they speak the language of leadership.

With confidence and conviction, they communicate insight and ideas to the hearts and minds of those whom they wish to move to action, their clients and future clients. They keep the conversation simple.

How well are you communicating the language of leadership?

How well are you engaging your clients in business conversation?

How are you being perceived by your clients?

“Empty pockets never held anyone back, only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”

Norman Vincent Peale

Sales professionals are not empty suits in the eyes of their clients, future clients and community.


The words you use and the messaging you use determines how someone views you.

Buzz-riddled sales jargon, industry acronyms and phrases… all of this may sound impressive to you but despite sounding important, there’s usually little meaning nor substance behind the words or messaging.

Are you using the same overused sets of sales jargon to describe situations as a replacement for just speaking plain old normal language?

Are you relying on industry buzzwords, catch phrases and acronyms to communicate concepts rather than explaining what they mean?

Let’s get real for a moment… Do you think this makes you sound or look smart? I promise you this… It only adds to more confusion as opposed to clarity.

Words matter and you must choose them wisely.

Sales professionals communicate in a way that brings them to life.

When you hide behind catch phrases and buzzwords this will only expose you and then label you as an empty suit.

These words drive your clients bonkers…

  • Turnkey
  • Streamline
  • Think outside the box
  • Best in class
  • Cutting technology
  • Leading edge

Nothing worse than an uneducated sales rep who recites information off the back of a brochure or from other empty suits!


We all know how hard it is to gain access to the C-suite. When you do get that coveted meeting, it’s mission critical you maximize every minute.

The last thing you want is to have decision makers walk away empty handed, or worse, leaving them confused or none the wiser.

Are you being viewed as being an empty suit? Would you know?

Listen up… Empty suits cover up their lack of understanding and experience with sales jargon, all because they think it sounds good. All this does is confuse, alienate and label you.

In George Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language.” he shares his opinion on our reliance on “dying metaphors,” “pretentious diction,” “stale similes and idioms,” that have clouded our thinking.

He understood that if we only recite clichéd and meaningless phrases because they sound nice, we’re spared the effort and challenge of not only crafting our thoughts and opinions into fresh language, but confronting what our thoughts and opinions really are.

In other words, using unclear and cliched sales jargon reflects upon you with unclarity and canned thinking. 

How do you want to be viewed by your clients?


“Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy.”

Wayne Dyer

You must live, walk, talk and breathe as a sales professional.

Do you believe in YOU and your messaging?

Are you carrying yourself with confidence?

An executive appearance, presence and attitude may open some business doors of opportunity, however; without competence those will quickly dissipate.

I would like all you to stop for a moment and think about this scenario…

What happens in a first meeting, when an executive shares their vision, business initiatives and challenges and all you can contribute to the conversation is a stream of buzzwords, canned pitches and sales jargon?

This my sales friends is an empty suit.


I encourage many of you in sales to remove the mask and become your true self. You must ditch the facade, buzzwords, and sales jargon.

There are way too many sales reps who believe they are ‘A’ players, but in essence they are nothing more than ‘C’ players hiding in an empty suit.  

If you find yourself being labeled or judged as an empty suit, stop and then ask yourself…

Is it true?

Is it limiting you?

Take all of this to heart as you control how your clients and future clients view you.

Expensive name brand suits are no substitute for business acumen or business substance.

Fine clothing is not a substitute for brains.

I encourage you to look in the mirror…

  • Are you being sincere with your clients?
  • Are you bringing substance to your clients?
  • Are you engaging in business conversation with your clients?

We can control what we can control, and this is how we carry ourselves. If you want to avoid being labeled as an empty suit, then it is your sole responsibility to do something about it.


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