Ever notice how some people say "umm" a lot when they are speaking?

This particularly is a problem for some people when they are doing what is commonly referred to as "public speaking".

But it’s also a problem for a lot of regular people.

And for a lot of sales people, even when they aren’t on stage.

Cause for most of us, talking about our company, our products, or ourselves, feels like we are "on stage" and that we are presenting.

The reason why people say "umm" a lot in these situations is simple.

They say "umm" because they are uncomfortable with silence.

They can’t stand the feeling of a pause between their words or sentences.

Their brain may not know exactly what to say next, they’re afraid of the silence, so they say "umm" as a continuer. Now I think I just made up that word, continuer, so let me tell you what I mean by it.

When someone is uncomfortable with having silence while they think of what to say next, their brain blurts out this continuer word to fill the sound gap so that they can stay speaking, so that they keep control of the conversation, so that the other person, the audience, can’t get a word out and take control of the conversation away from them.

That’s why so many people say "umm" when they’re talking.

This happens in casual conversation. Around the water cooler. At cocktail parties. And on sales calls.

People do this in a subconscious attempt to be in control of the conversation.

Ironically though, the more people try to control the conversation by filling all of the sound gaps, the more annoying they become.
And in selling, the more annoying you are the less effective you are.

There is a better way to control a conversation.

Ask questions.

The great thing about asking questions is that you really are in control, yet other people feel a part of the conversation. You are in control because you are directing the topic of what is being thought about and talked about.

Another great thing about asking questions is that you can get your sales points into the conversation as well, without getting strung out on "umms" searching for the next thing to say. All you have to do is slide your sales points into your conversation as part of your preface to another question.

So relax. Stop trying to fill all the airspace of your conversations. Get the other guy to talk more than you are.

And you can find out exactly what motivates your prospect and what he needs to hear from you in order to sell him when you use the questioning techniques I detail out here

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus Brown