Don’t talk too much on sales calls

When on a sales call, do you hear your voice more than your prospect’s? Are you displaying your knowledge in hopes of generating interest and enthusiasm? Are you discussing the features and benefits of your company and your product or service? If you answered “”Yes”” you talk too much. At the

end of the sales call, when you are back in your office, do you find yourself trying to figure out some critical elements like budget information, what the decision process is, or maybe, how committed the prospect is? Are you unsure why some prospects buy from you and why some don’t? Again if your answer is “”Yes”” you are in trouble. You are relying on mind reading, rather than on your ability to ask questions, especially the tough questions, and get answers. If asking questions is difficult or uncomfortable for you, you’re probably finding it just as difficult to get your prospects to make commitments and decisions. The result, you do all the work, jump through all the hoops while your prospects sense of urgency seems to disappear and he or she becomes harder to reach. Are you still uncomfortable handling stall and objection questions from your prospects or clients? Have you used those one-liners you’ve been taught, but they just don’t seem to get you where you need to go in the sales process? Have you tried all those “”guaranteed”” closing techniques you learned only to find your prospect knew them better than you have? If so, you’ve fallen into the technique trap.

Sales relationships are built on bonding, rapport, communications and understanding between individuals, not on techniques. This is what you can do about it.

The first thing you must do is decide you will do something about it! Exactly how much longer will you put up with those roadblocks which have been holding you back?

The second thing you must do is acknowledge the fact that you will have to make some changes. It is usually not for the lack of technique or trying you experience the above problems. It’s more like a combination of your fears — “”Oh, I could never ask my prospect that…”” and your prior believe system — “”Prospects aren’t going to reveal that information even if I do ask…”” which handicaps and prevents you from breaking through the barriers to greater levels of success.

Third, you must be willing to exercise your rights as a salesperson. Yes, salespeople have rights too! They have the right to the truth, even though sometimes it’s not what they want to hear. They have the right to ask the questions so they may determine where they are in the selling process and what is going to happen next. They have the right to determine early in the process whether there is a real business opportunity there for them. They have the right to determine where and with whom they will invest their time.

Please note the sequence of this three-step solution. You must first be committed to the change before it will happen. Also, as you begin to change your beliefs and behaviours and exercise your rights, you will probably experience some short-term discomfort, the kind, which accompanies change. This discomfort is short-lived however, and well worth the trade off of greater long-term success.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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