Stop Talking. Listen. Say Yes

by Bob Poole on September 27, 2011

We all tend to talk too much when we are in a conversation with a customer or prospective client. If you think you might be guilty of doing it here are some of the possible reasons why:

  • It is human nature for many of us to talk when we’re nervous and being in a sales situation often brings out some serious nervous tension.
  • You know all the features and benefits of your products and services and you really want to educate the buyer.
  • Somewhere along the line you got the idea that selling is telling.
  • You feel like you’re in control of the sales situation if you’re doing the talking.
  • You aren’t prepared with the questions you need to ask so that you can listen and understand what the customer wants from you and your company.

I’ve witnessed too many salespeople talk themselves right out of the sale they already had made by continuing to talk. All they had to do was shut up and say “Yes.” The customer was ready to buy.

Most people (ALL?) don’t want to be sold. They want to buy – so let them. Your job is ask questions and answer their specific questions. Save the Dog and Pony Show and Show and Tell for when you’re onstage giving a presentation.

As far as what kinds of questions you need to ask while speaking with customers and prospects, why not give this a try.

Write down a list of questions that you’d want to ask you if you were in the buyer’s shoes.  You’re the expert so write down ones that people might not know to ask. What’s unique about your product? Here’s a quick example. Let’s say your tiny video camera has an audio jack so you can add wireless microphones or just a better mic than the on-camera one. Ask a question like, “What type of scenes and videos do you plan on making?” That will allow you to determine if the ability to add a microphone is important.”

If you just blurt out in your stream of logorrhea that your camera has an audio-in jack your prospect may be saying “So what!” to themselves if they either know they don’t want it or don’t know enough to know they do.

Next put together a list of questions that will allow the buyer to talk so they can tell you what is important to them, what they already know about your type of product, and possibly what they even know about your specific product. People can research everything on the web today so if they let you know they already did some research about what you’re selling and now they are talking with you – guess what – they are very interested in buying.

Let them. Stop talking. Listen. Say yes.

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