Jul 20, 2010

How to sell: Why keeping your mouth shut pays you more than talking

Don’t know how to sell? Shut up and listen.

It’s that easy. When was the last time you met salesman who listened you? Was he or she a someone who asked lots of questions before the sales pitch? If you met a person like that, chances are you didn’t see him or her as a someone in sales, but as a someone who was genuinely interested in you and your problem. 

Discover why keeping your mouth shut pays you more than talking
  1. How do you know your prospect really interested in your offer if you don't get to know his or her situation?
  2. You spend less time with your prospect after you have asked enough questions about his business and field to understand it better, rather than shooting with eyes blinded. With more information you can tailor your offer to match his needs.
  3. How many times when a telemarketer has called you, you would have told that you have already a similar product or that you just don’t need it right now – but never got the opportunity to speak? Instead of questions about you, they talk how great their magazine is, even though you may only read articles and news online. If they asked more questions, they would know that, and could be already talking to the next, more potential customer instead of wasting time with you.
  4. Next time when you run out of words with your customer, hold your tongue. Watch what happens. Often it is the customer who starts to talk to fill in the silence. That new information you get might help you to make the sale.
  5. It is much easier, and smarter, to keep the prospect talking than try to come up with clever lines just to impress a silent rock. You need feedback to target your message. Your questions produce that feedback. Questions are also a great tool to build trust between you and your customer. It shows that you care about them.
  6. During all my time in sales, no person has ever asked me to stop asking questions about him or her. (Do you enjoy talking about yourself or do you enjoy a pushy salesperson who tries to force you to buy instantly the new super glue? Frankly, I’m more interested in myself.)

How to make people buy from you  
People buy from people whom they believe and trust. Your first goal as a salesperson is to make your customer trust you. You can't start selling before that. Trust is the only way they will buy ever from you. Ten odd years ago I learned that the job of a salesman was to ask excellent questions from customers, not to create sleek sales presentations. Don't believe me? Try it.

For more information about listening your way into sales, listen Brian Tracy’s The Psychology of Selling audio cd and read Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people

As Dale Carnegie's book says: “From now on, I keep my mouth shut. It pays.”

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