Most people think that salesmanship is talking people into things.
We talk ourselves out of more sales than we talk ourselves into. You could probably eliminate most of what you say during your calls and still sell as much, if not more.
Salesmanship is not the “gift of gab.” You don’t talk people into buying. Usually, the more you say, the less you sell. Every word that comes out of your mouth is just an opportunity to get into trouble.
How do you know when you’ve said enough? When they’ve bought.
Start observing yourself when you’re on service calls. You’re probably doing most of the talking. You were given two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion. The customer does two-thirds of the talking. You should do one-third of the talking. That means you do two-thirds of the listening.
People love the strong, silent type. Use that to your advantage.
One of a salesperson’s best friends is silence. You’ll never know the power and the magic of silence until you learn to silence yourself and let your prospects do most of the talking.
How Much Should You Say?
As little as possible. How do you know when you’ve said enough? When they’ve bought.
Provide very little information. Establish the need and the sense of urgency. Once they indicate that they at least understand why you’re making the recommendations you’re making, try to close them.
Don’t say anything you don’t absolutely have to say. Don’t say anything that won’t help you close the sale.
No idle chit chat. Make everything you say important. If you start saying things that are unimportant, your customers will stop listening to you. Plus, you’ve got to keep it short.
Before saying anything, I ask myself:
1. Who cares?
If the answer is, no one but me, I don’t say it. There have been times when I’ve expended a lot of effort trying to figure out how to get people a cleaner environment, more even airflow, lower utility bills, or a better night’s sleep, when I’ve suddenly realized that I’m the only person in the house that cares that cares about those things!
Make everything you say important. If you start saying things that are unimportant, your customers will stop listening to you. Plus, you’ve got to keep it short.
2. Can I make the sale without saying it?
Probably, yes. Sometimes we forget that they called us out there to buy. Nearly everyone we see buys, if not from me or you, from someone else, usually within hours. So, you probably don’t need to say near as much as you’re saying.
You can always say more, but once it’s said, you can’t say less. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.
Save your ammo. Tell them very little, then give them a chance to make a decision. If they don’t buy, give them more information, and another chance to make a buying decision.
That’s the key to being able to make multiple closing attempts without being obnoxious or a high-pressure salesman. When you’ve told them very little, and they don’t buy, provide new and interesting information about the product or service. Look for buying signs, like head nodding, or verbal agreement.
Frequently, they’ll say, “I did not know that,” or “Oh, why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?” When they do, you can say something like, “Based on this new information, is this something you’d like to go ahead with?”
3. Will this make them feel good about buying from me?
My job as a salesman is to make people feel good about buying from me. If what you’re thinking of saying won’t cause them to have a good feeling about owning your product or service, don’t say it.
Will this slow you down? Yes, it will. When you ask yourself these questions prior to saying anything, there will be about a four-second period of silence when it’s your turn to talk. That’s when all the magic happens. During that brief period of silence, people will say, “You’re thinking about your answer. That’s good.”
Ever heard of a slick, fast-talkin’ salesman? When people get excited or nervous they tend to talk quicker and the pitch of their voice rises. It happens to all of us and it doesn’t sound right. You’re supposed to be coming across as quietly confident.
Be acutely aware of your tone of voice and the rate at which you speak. Force yourself to speak slower and with a lower tone of voice.
Make sure you pronounce well. People often cut off the ends of words when they speak, and it makes it difficult for them to buy from you when they can’t understand you.
On your next call, see how little you can say, and still make the say. Don’t be surprised when you start making more sales in less time.
Charlie Greer is the creator of “Tec Daddy’s Service Technician Survival School on DVD,” the video series that provides a year’s worth of weekly 30-minute sales training sessions. For more information on Charlie’s products and services, got to www.hvacprofitboosters.com, or call 1-800-963-HVAC (4822). Email Charlie at [email protected]