Yes I said it.
But only because this will be one of the most important tips I post on the PSS site.
You are probably wondering: how can I sell if I am not talking?
Well the truth is – most, if not all selling – is done when you aren’t talking.
Fast Food Consulting
Imagine you walked into McDonald’s and the cashier said:
“Hi, welcome to McDonald’s would you like a Big Mac combo?”
“….how about a quarter pounder meal?”
“Well no, I was really craving a…”
In B2B sales, this actually happens a lot.
There are countless times where I have been on appointments in which the sales rep. would not stop talking.
The prospect sits there wondering why they are wasting their time.
Since they aren’t receiving personalized service and being told what they want – the business owner won’t spend a dime.
Ask Questions and Then Listen
As a sales rep. you need to treat an appointment like an interview.
Your goal is to gather information and to be quick on your feet with a solution that can fix the problem.
And if it is rather complex, get takeaway information, do research and put together an unbeatable package.
When as a sales rep. you don’t stop talking you are doing several things.
You are talking at and not with the prospect – it’s rude.
You are damaging your reputation since the prospect has only one choice, to think that you believe you are superior to him or her.
The prospect will think you are arrogant because you give the impression you know what is good for their business before you have proven you understand his or her needs.
So When Do I Speak?
There are definitely situations where you must act as the consultant in providing real guidance.
But there is a way to do this while having a meaningful purpose driven conversation with the prospect.
If you are an expert in cleaning services, you can still show your knowledge while you ask the client for the type of quality treatment they require for their building.
You must gather, assess and intepret their needs and match them to your skills and services.
So what happens when there is a silence?
Let There be Peace!
A lot of the times when you ask a question and are met with silence it is not because the prospect wasn’t listening or is disinterested but that they are dissecting the question in their head.
If they are stumped by a question you are asking about their business it is probably a good sign since your concern for their business goes beyond a place they themselves have previously fathomed.
And that shows real care and concern for improving their business.
So much so that the business owner hasn’t even comprehended the potential pitfall or opportunity you are discussing.
When you are at the point where you are confident you will get the go ahead on a contract, this may be another time for silence.
So many times I have seen a sales rep. ask for the sale and then before the prospect can answer, the rep. gets scared and starts selling again.
Bad, bad, bad.
Not only will you probably lose the sale, you will be at the beginning of your pitch again.
You also seem unsure and shaky about whether your product or service will work.
If you are confident in your product or service, sit there confidently and tell the prospect that you are going to do x, y, and z and how you are going to do it.
Ask: how does that sound?
And then SHUT THE F*** UP!
Cause the longer the silence, the more likely they are to say yes.
If you have asked excellent probing questions, provided a quality solution, worked with the prospect to make sure you are effectively servicing their needs, helping their company to be more efficient, save money or make money, and you are sure there are no remaining pain points, they will say yes.
When you ask for the sale – despite how difficult it will be – you must not talk.
Cause as one of my sales mentors says, the first person to talk at that point loses.
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