One of my favorite things to do on our annual 4th of July holiday vacation is to walk the beach in the morning (Greenbush, MI on Lake Huron – about 45 minutes south of Alpena). I put the earbuds in, select my favorite playlist & start to solve all the world’s problems.
This weekend it was old-school 80’s & 90’s. The Police, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, etc. Four or five songs into it Depeche Mode came on – Enjoy the Silence. Whoever would have thought that Depeche Mode would be so intuitive – way back in 1990? I must say I listen to that song a lot differently today than I did back then. Enjoy the Silence should be the National Song for salespeople.
Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm! How true it is! They can only do harm.
Be honest. How many times have you caught yourself talking too much on a sales call? And when you’re talking, what are you talking about? Let me guess… your product, your service, your features, your benefits, your customer service, your delivery model, your technology, your capabilities, your user-friendliness & functionality, your rates or fees, your, your, your!
Do you ever get the feeling you are making a fool of yourself by talking too much on sales calls? Of course not! Not you. Really? It happens. It happens a lot. The #1 problem for amateur (& millions of professional) salespeople is that they talk too much.
The discipline to shut up & listen is a gigantic one. The urge to talk & fill the uncomfortable silence is just as large. So what do we do? We can’t resist the temptation to talk, so we talk, we dump, we “show up & throw up”. It’s ridiculous, really. If we were to watch ourselves on video-tape most of us would hit STOP & delete (back in the 90’s we’d hit erase) before the thing ended. Agree?
So here’s a suggestion for those times when you know you are doing all the talking: Admit it. Say, “I feel like I’m doing all the talking. Why don’t I ask you a question & listen to you for a while?” Now, you’d better have a good question to ask. How about a good qualifying question.
Ok now, shhhhhh!