I have met so many salespeople who think the only way to control the sales process is to dump an extraordinary amount of so-called wisdom on the customer.
I would even have put myself in that category at one point — I thought I had all the answers to the customer’s dilemma, and I was more than willing to share everything I knew.
I eventually learned that there was a better — and more profitable — approach.
Silence does have its place, and it is instrumental in getting the customer to talk.
The right questions followed by the salesperson then attentively listening can reveal so much about the customer’s needs and wants.
When you get customers to talk as much as possible, you are allowing them to guide the discussion. This is a good thing, even if on the surface it may seem like it isn’t. In fact, when I share this tip with salespeople, many will inevitably push back, arguing that if the customer drives the conversation, it will land right smack dab in the middle of a discount.
It’s actually the opposite.
Key is to prepare the right questions. I even tell salespeople to spend as much advance preparation time thinking through questions they want to ask the customer as they spend on creating the presentation itself.
Too many times, salespeople don’t prepare their questions until they are waiting in the lobby to see the customer. Big mistake.
If you have taken the time to prepare your questions, then you will be adept at uncovering the customer’s needs — and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to match those needs to the benefits of your product or service. This is where you gain ground on securing full price without a discount in sight.
Allow the customer to talk — to really talk. The customer more than likely will feel like they are calling the shots because they are doing the bulk of the talking.
In reality, though, your strategic silence is setting the stage for the customer to grasp the true value of what you are selling.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.