Bite Your TongueWritten by Kelley Robertson
Most people don’t realize how powerful a negotiating tool silence is. I discovered exactly how effective as I recently observed someone discussing a deal with a prospective customer this past week. The customer started describing his situation and after a few moments he paused – briefly. It was an opportune time for sales person to make a comment or talk about her product and service. However, she remained silent, sensing that customer had more to say. Her intuition proved correct - a few seconds later he continued talking about his needs, and when he had finished discussing his point he paused. The sales person refrained from speaking and her customer began talking again. During this last monologue sales person learned exact information that she needed to close sale without resorting to discounting. If she had spoken during those moments of silence, she may still have closed sale but not as effectively. I remember watching my wife use silence as a customer several years ago in a retail store. She had brought a few items to cash desk and when sales associate rang them in my wife noticed a discrepancy in price. When she questioned this difference, employee mentioned that items in question were not available for price my wife had thought. Instead of complaining or arguing my wife chose to remain silent. The sales associate immediately began talking to fill up “dead air” space, and before long, had talked herself into giving my wife discount she had hoped for. The next time you meet with a client or customer – either face-to-face or over telephone – bite your tongue. Resist temptation to talk immediately after they have spoken. Instead, pause for a few moments. Because most people are uncomfortable with silence they will automatically say something. This is a very effective recruiting technique (called pregnant pause) and it can be used in sales process as well. Here are a few other situations when biting your tongue will benefit you: 1. After you ask a question. I’ve seen more sales people answer their own questions instead of holding back and allowing their customer to talk. Let a customer tell you what’s on their mind and encourage them to give you more information. This is extremely easy to do when you refrain from talking after asking someone a question.
The Power of ConfidenceWritten by Kelley Robertson
My experience has taught me that people want to buy from sales people who are confident in their abilities. Taking control of circumstances and situations around you will develop your self-confidence. When you consider amount of rejection that many sales people encounter, fact that many salespeople lack self-confidence is not surprising. Top performing people in any industry typically possess a high level of self-confidence. They may not necessarily possess this confidence all their lives. I have not always have a lot of self-confidence. Outwardly I was Mr. Confident while on inside I seriously doubted my abilities. I had to wrestle with my own mental baggage for years before I became internally confident. Learning to deal with this begins with letting go of your personal baggage. Mental baggage is a collection of all situations we have experienced or encountered during our lifetimes. We carry all this baggage around in our heads and draw from it when appropriate situations present themselves. Perhaps you tried to join a school sports team when you were a child. Your athletic abilities in that particular sport were average; for that reason you were unable to make team. You filed away this experience in your subconscious until a similar situation to it came along. You immediately recalled previous performance and outcome, and told yourself that you were not capable of successfully meeting current challenge. Consequently, you did not make effort required to meet it. We all carry around this mental baggage. It influences us in everything we do, both in our business and personal lives. How it affects us when we sell is very simple. Mental baggage may consist of customers who have been rude, abrupt, or angry toward you. Baggage can include situations from earlier in our work careers or even from our childhoods. As time progresses, this mental baggage weighs heavier and heavier. Yet we continue to drag it around with us into every sales situation. Over time our attitude turns sour, we become pessimistic and jaded, and we get frustrated with challenging customers and prospects. Our productivity drops, our performance slides, and our job security may even be threatened. We become increasingly bitter toward our chosen occupation, customers we serve, and life in general. Our mental baggage is a weight on our shoulders.