Have you ever been in a conversation with someone that would NOT stop talking? You spend the entire conversation trying to get a word in – and you find yourself ultimately trying to get away from them, right? You’re simply waiting for them to take a breath so you can blurt out an escape plan.
Do you think salespeople have this reputation? I daresay they do.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there is value in a script when it’s used properly. But too many salespeople will ramble through a prepared script, thinking the script contains all the magic for them. When they do this, the sales conversation is naturally very one sided and when it doesn’t work. Salespeople will wonder why their magic script failed them, and declare that sales is hard.
What the script fails to give you is an essential piece to the sales equation: the other person!
Whether you’re new to sales or you’ve been around a while, know this: You’ll never talk anyone into a sale. Ever.
Sales is not talking – sales is asking questions – then listening. And it’s in the listening that all the magic happens.
There’s an old saying that goes “You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that ratio.” There is a lot of wisdom there – and it is part of the key to doubling and tripling your sales.
When you ask your prospect a question, you communicate with them that they are valuable to you. But simply asking the question is only part of the equation – you must wait for them to respond.
Don’t just listen. Actively Listen.
There is a big difference. Active listening is an involved part of the communication process. It involves asking questions, intentionally communicating with your body language, and having the patience to wait for a response.
They say that the average person can only handle 4 seconds of silence in a conversation before feeling the need to fill the silence. When you ask your prospect questions, and they don’t respond immediately, Do not fill that silence. Wait.
This moment is a gift. It communicates to them that you deeply value their response. In this brief few seconds of time, your prospect is being allowed the time and space to thoughtfully consider your question. But further and deeper than that, you are communicating to them that you value them.
And a person who feels valued will want to do business with you.
Dale Carnegie wrote in How To Win Friends And Influence People that we should always “Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.”