For Better Sales Results, Slow Down

A while ago, we wrote about how some salespeople tend to over-talk (“The Yadda-Yadda-Yadda Syndrome,” July 2009).

A related problem is the salesperson who talks too fast in an effort to cover all the points and “get to the close.” You’ve seen this in movies as the stereotypical used-car salesman. But the belief that you should Always Be Closing (ABC) is a worn-out concept. Consultative selling is more effective and, frankly, much easier. You should be listening more than talking. Get comfortable with a little quiet time so your prospects can absorb the information you are showering on them.

Slow down. Allow your prospects to ask some questions. Engage them in conversation, and let them know you want them to make right decision, not a rash one. The harder you push, the more resistance you are likely to encounter. Relax; take your time; don’t offer so many options. Keep it simple. There is no point in overwhelming them with information they can’t use. They are more likely to listen in response to a question they have asked than to you just babbling on about features and benefits of a product or service.

Early in my sales career, my mentor impressed upon me the importance of becoming a resource to customers. We will not always have the right product or service to solve their problem. If we could refer them to another source – even a friendly competitor – we would quickly gain their respect and future business.

By focusing on helping your prospects rather than selling them, you become more of a resource and less of a vendor. When people feel like they’re being “sold,” they react negatively. Learn their business and personal objectives. Find out why they agreed to talk to you. They saw something in you or your company that they thought useful. They agreed to give you time – a precious commodity these days. Don’t disappoint them.