Years ago, my first real sales mentor taught me about, what he called non-fluencies.
We recorded an actual sales call with the intent of breaking it down and critiquing it. Then the goal was simple, continue with the good, eliminate the bad, add what was missing and alter everything else. After the sales call was over, the boss told me he had been waiting for the right time to help me understand non-fluencies and the time was now!
He asked me if I was aware that I used and inserted the words “ya know” into my speech. I said “yeah, I guess so”. He asked me how often I thought I did this. I said, “a few times, is it a problem?” He replied I’ll let you judge for yourself.
He then played the tape and asked me to count. I was in the twenties within just a few minutes. I was shocked!
Thankfully he didn’t make me count for the entire 45-minute call. It would have been hundreds.
I couldn’t believe it and I wondered what I must have sounded like to my potential client. My boss answered that question and it wasn’t good.
This problem in speech is very (VERY) common. We all do it! It actually has an official name: embolalia and it is defined as the insertion of meaningless words and sounds into speech.
The bad news is we’ve all done it and do it. The good news is it can be eliminated by simply becoming aware of it.
Pay attention today to your own speech. Embolalia (non-fluencies) are most likely to occur when we feel the need to insert something into speech in order to gain a little thinking time. Slow down, think and let a small space of silence happen. You’ll sound better. They won’t be distracted by your valueless fillers and communication will be enhanced.
Watch other’s speech for this also. In some cases, these non-fluencies are the “drops in fluency” we hope will happen. They indicate that the other person is thinking and for salespeople, this often equates to them recognizing additional value or knowledge (growing their monkeys). Other times, non-fluencies could also be just an annoying habit of speech ☹.
Coach your team and give them permission to coach you. This is an easy improvement to make in our communication skills.
Joe Thomas Joe.Thomas@ImpactAdvantage.com
Knock em dead this week, and uh, ya know, well, um keep up the great work of Sales!!!