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Sales Conversations – Mastering the Art of Shutting Up

April 7, 2015 / in How To / by

Hi friends!  It’s Jason with this week’s blog post.

I was talking with a bunch of business owner friends last Friday about sales process, relationship, referrals and more.  A part of the conversation centered on how easy it is to talk too much about features and benefits during a sales call.  Every single business owner in the room agreed with this philosophy.

I’ve learned over the years that it’s important to let the person you are talking with speak.  That might sound silly and obvious, but you’d be surprised how often we mess that up.  In other words my sales calls are actually sales conversations, and as a result, I believe more effective.

Sales conversations with one person

If I’m meeting with one person, they usually end up asking questions after I’ve finished the intro about our services.  They share their personal experiences with similar situations in the past.  They tell me what they think about the pain of maintaining a website with a company that won’t call them back or is charging them too much.  They talk about the fact that they know they need to be blogging but just can’t seem to get started or keep the effort going.  The answer to their question is almost always, “Yes. We can do that.”  I might expand on how a bit, but it’s important to get back to the place where they are talking.

Sales conversations with a group

The idea of letting your potential new client drive the sales conversation is even more effective when it involves two or more people.  Inevitably, the group begins talking about their pain and why they need help.  And all too often they haven’t really talked that much amongst themselves prior to our meeting, so important details come out during the conversation.  Too much work.  Not enough support.  Problems with leadership getting on board.  Unfulfilled promises from previous vendors.  The list goes on and on.

The Art of Shutting UpMastering the Art of Shutting Up

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve won a new client by talking less.  And if you know me at all, you know I love to talk.  And I get passionate about helping people and can’t wait to tell them how things could be better.  So this is something I really have to work at!  Being quiet is a learned behavior for me.

Sure, I start out the conversation with what we do, how it works, pricing, etc.  The nuts and bolts of our services.  But then the magic happens.  They. Start. Talking.

They start talking individually or as a group and it’s an awesome feeling when they make a decision to work with us by the time they’re done.  I answer questions along the way, and definitely offer bits and pieces of advice about things they hadn’t thought of or didn’t know existed, but generally I let them drive the conversation.

The hard part is biting my tongue when I think of something additional to tell them… because they’re still talking.

What do you think?  Have you had any experiences with this?  Do you like the idea?  Will you try it next time you are meeting with someone?  I’d love to hear from you!

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