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As a sales trainer and coach, I’m often brought in by businesses to help sales and non-sales people improve their telephone manner, sales pitch and business fit presentations. One of the most common problems I see when selling a product or service is inserting innocent-seeming filler words into conversations.
A filler word is an apparently meaningless word, phrase, or sound that marks a pause or hesitation in speech. Also, known as a ‘pause filler’ or ‘hesitation form’. Using a filler word here and there isn’t wrong, but it’s their repetitive use that really kills a salesperson’s credibility.
Here are the most common filler words and phrases I’ve encountered during my career:
Such meaningless phrases distract the listener from focusing solely on the particular message you want to get across. In the world of business, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
As customer-facing professionals, we need to be more mindful of how we’re perceived and understand how we can build rapport to become the best version of ourselves and the best representatives of the company we work for. Painting a vision, outlining value propositions and delivering a compelling message can all be done through the power of speech, so it’s extremely important we don’t dilute it with filler words.
So, how do you go about removing filler words? Easy. I want you and your team to go away and identify then discuss your most common filler words, and have some fun with trying to eliminate them.
The more you try to take them out, the easier the transition will be.