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Say less, sell more

Selling is a vital part of any business, but often one that’s hard to master and might seem completely alien to most of us.

Here we look at how to remove the unnecessary words from your killer pitch to make it more concise and more effective!

Filler words are the meaningless or unnecessary sounds, words or phrases that mark a pause or hesitation in our speech. These occur when we decide what we are going to say next, and pretty much everyone naturally uses some! However, in sales these distract the listener from what you want them to hear, can make you come across as inexperienced or unsure, and they dilute or completely obscure your well thought out key messages. 

Filler words will sneak into your pitch without you noticing and are insidious - they will embed themselves in your speech patterns so that even though you hear yourself use them, it can be really difficult to stop. 

Is this really so bad?
  • Filler words indicate to the listener that you’re in trouble and that you're not confident
  • Filler words distract and obscure your message
  • Filler words disrupt the flow of a conversation and hinder progress towards an outcome

To sell you need to communicate effectively and persuasively - filler words stop this from happening and will reduce your sales!

There are lots of sales tips and advice out there, but you'll notice that all top sales people, no matter their techniques, do not use filler words and phrases.
Here's a list of filler words and phrases to avoid, listen out for them and try to cut them from your pitch:

I mean….
kind of…
sort of…
believe me...
you know…
or something….
at the end of the day….
as you can see…
you know I mean...

There are also just the noises, err, umm, urghs which sound even worse!

So, how to stop using filler words?

Just don’t say them! Every time you find yourself about to use one, just pause instead. You will sound more confident, more knowledgeable, both you and the listener will be able to concentrate on the message you are delivering, and you will be more effective and sell more.

Six simple steps to remove fillers and start selling more:
  • Listen to yourself. Try recording your sales calls and counting the filler words and the effect they have. You'll be amazed how many are there!
  • Breathe. Relax, take a deep breath and take your time. If you encounter a difficult question just stop, breathe, and think about how to answer effectively.
  • Pause. Silence isn’t your enemy, whilst it will sound terrible to you initially. To the listener you will be more considered, confident and trustworthy. Every time you want to fill, just stop and swap the filler for a short pause – honestly, please try it I promise it will pay off!
  • Slow down. Give yourself time to think and remove fillers. Effective communication is never just babble. Use short sentences with pauses to allow your message to be absorbed and understood.
  • Prepare. Practise your pitch, handling objections and removing filler words. It won’t be easy, but the more you do it the better you will get. Take some time to understand how you speak when you are nervous, a recreate that situation to practise and perfect your pitch.
  • Tell a story. Make your pitch engaging and make it flow. A story will carry your listener from their starting point to where you want them to be – ready to buy and happy with their choice, you will close the deal!

So, get back out there, stop using unnecessary fillers – say less – sell more!

You will find dedicated sales skills workshops giving you practical advice at the Northern Business Expo. Learn insider sales tips, discover straighforward coaching tips from the best in the business and tools for more effective lead generation. The Northern Business Expo is free to attend and is on 17th and 18th March at Manchester Central. Get your free ticket online now!

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