Unless you’re the Karate Kid, it’s pretty unlikely that you’re actually the best around.

The chances, in fact, are infinitesimally small. So why does your website say that you are? Or your brochure, or your radio ad?

Too many companies claim to be “the best” or overstate their abilities to what is a comical point, losing any credibility they might have actually have had. If the only thing you can say about yourself is that you’re coming in first in a one-man competition, it’s time to rethink how you market your business.

Say What You Mean

Claiming to be “the best” or exaggerating your abilities in the Internet Age is a waste of your energy. A simple search will turn up your Yelp rating and any accolades you’ve actually collected. So stop wasting everybody’s time trying to figure out what you’re actually good at and just tell us.

If you’re a harpist, just tell us that — and maybe add a few lines about how you’ve been asked to play for over 500 funerals. That’s way more impressive than being “the best” harpist in your zip code.

Words like best, great, awesome, amazing and so forth don’t do much for you these days. These vague exaggerations may have gotten a lot of traction in eras past, but empty words and phrases like these are just worn out. Today’s customers want to know what you actually have to offer them, and they don’t want to dig a lot to find out.

Instead of being “the best,” you can be specially certified, a specific type of award winner, a business with a lot of longevity and happy customers, a company that does things a particular way — but you can’t be the best. Life isn’t a contest, and even if it were, you’re definitely not winning it. I can tell from your self-promotion tactics.

Next time you write a blog, redesign your website or describe your business to anyone, find a reason to be the winner you claim. Instead of wasting empty words on an audience that couldn’t care less, give them something real to base their decisions on.

Chances are you’re losing way more business than you know by being so vague — after all, no one turns to their spouse and says, “Look at this company, honey — they’re the best in the city! We should call them today!”