No More Chit Chat

By: Kenrick Cleveland..

Americans love to talk. Americans also love to be talked to -- listening to the TV or the stereo or talk radio -- anything so that there's no silence. Silence we seem to delegate to those few days a year when we get back to nature. In conversations, especially, there's a real fear of silence, an awkwardness that sort of permeates the in between spaces where there is no one talking and most people will do anything possible to fill up that silence with noise regardless of whether or not it's going to damage their chances of selling their product or service.

Filling in the spaces is the inane chatter. We are surely familiar with the cliche sales persona, someone who look at the photographs on the wall or desk of their prospect, asking how the wife and kids or husband and kids are, how the golf game is -- also known as, chit chat. Even more detrimental to sales, is the chit chat that happens after the sale is in the bag, but not signed off on. This is the stuff that breaks the deal because maybe we're excited about having made the sale and we begin to blather on and on. .

One of my personal breakthroughs, and a big one, happened for me when I realized that I didn't have to spend a whole lot of time in that chit chat mode. When I was just a kid starting out in sales, I can't even count the number of times I totally destroyed the sale by being too talkative. I was consistently derailing my chances. And the more I saw the sale derailing, the more I would talk, nervously, in an attempt to regain the footing I had lost.

I realized I was absolutely giving the prospect or client an out by chattering on too long. I wondered, why don't they like me more, why don't they want to be my friend? Why don't they want to talk about personal, day-to-day stuff with me? I can tell you exactly why. . . they were not getting from me the answer to the burning question within them.

Granted, I've been blessed with the gift of gab. The shift in my thinking came when I realized I had to fashion what I was saying to focus intently on the prospect and their needs and not my own agenda.

So what is the burning question? The question is, "What can you do for me, Kenrick?" Our prospects are ultimately wanting to know, "What's in this for me? What is it that you're going to do to help me?" The only way to find the answers to these questions is to elicit their criteria and once you've elicited their criteria, then we have to get to the meaning.

Criteria and its meaning have got to be the foremost thing in your mind when making a sale, no ifs, ands or buts. Remember this, and you won't be derailed.

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Kenrick Cleveland teaches strategies to earn the business of affluent prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion strategies.

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