We are in the communications business. And yet, not a week goes by that I don’t see evidence of our failure to communicate either with our co-workers or our clients. Clear communication is an art. It takes time, effort and training.
For the foreseeable future, much of our face will remain covered with masks while speaking in person with clients. In some states, we are wearing masks in the office as well. These restrictions cut down on the visual cues people use to understand our intent and make it even more important to use our words in a powerful way. We need to take lessons from our on-air compatriots and learn to paint images with words. We also need to eject some words from our selling vocabulary that will weaken our message and make us sound less than confident. My speech teacher in college called them “word whiskers”. These words attach to our sentences and sometimes are used to fill silences. In conversations with clients, we feel that silence is unacceptable. But silence can be golden. The “dramatic pause” can emphasize what we say next.
Here are some of the “word whiskers” I hear most often when working with clients:
“We’re JUST going to THROW IN these 10 FREE spots per week.”
Notice how the use of “just” and “throw in” diminishes the importance of what we are giving our clients? “Throw in” implies little thought and less value. Plus, there is no such thing as a “free” spot (spot is what happens to your clothes to send you to the cleaners. Use “message” or “commercial” instead.)
Another set of word whiskers I hear is “This page is KIND OF…” It is or it isn’t. “Kind of” weakens our message.
I also have heard “Like”. This seems to be the new catch phrase for young people. “It’s like, the best way to communicate, like, you know, a good way to say it.”
Like, like, like. I DON’T like like!
“But”, “Yea”, “Uh”, “So”, “Sort of”. Do these sound familiar?
There is nothing wrong with a few seconds of silence.
One of the best ways to know if you use these word whiskers is to record yourself before you present to your clients. Zoom provides an easy option to record your virtual conversations. Play them back and listen to how you say what you say. Tiny words can sabotage our message and drive our clients to distraction.
As we enter 2021, it’s important we cut through the cloth and truly communicate our messages to clients and co-workers. Shave off those word whiskers. Clear, confident, powerful communication will result.
Pat has a new book!
With lessons learned from 2020
What will broadcast sales look like in the future? What new skills will we need to be successful? How has the world-wide business interruption in 2020 changed how we will do business in the next years?
Looking forward to 2021, we need a strategic plan to recover lost revenue for our stations and for our clients. The ideas in this book will help you to develop that plan.
“Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change” provides a clear, concise roadmap for understanding the world of our clients, accessing those worlds and living in them to create successful campaigns. It explores how we must adapt our sales systems to succeed in an ever-changing business landscape. Knowledge is the key to unlocking success for us and for our clients as the new year arrives.
This book takes a retrospective look at the pandemic of 2o20 and presents a blueprint for adapting to the changes brought about by new ways of doing business. It outlines a way forward to successfully navigate and thrive in change.
Inside you’ll find:
- A sales system designed to accelerate success for both new recruits and seasoned professionals
- Understanding the internal motivations that move clients to buy from you
- New ways to prospect, new categories of business, that will keep your sales pipeline full
- Questions to uncover what clients are thinking and planning for the next years
- Presentations designed to craft high-dollar, long-term campaigns
- Strategies to reduce attrition
- New ways to hone your creative skills to produce relevant messages for businesses
- Ways to integrate radio and digital advertising to achieve greater results for clients
- Wisdom from managers around the world regarding how to manage teams remotely
The ideas in this book will make money for you and for your client! Add it to your sales library today!