The Art of Shutting Up


Maybe you’ve heard this sales advice before. I didn’t invent it. But maybe you’d benefit from a reminder…

The advice is this: shut up.

Rather, after you’ve made your pitch to the prospect, shut up. Let the prospect talk.

Here’s a quick example — a conversation between the Salesman and the Prospect.

Salesman: The price for the new roof would be $40,000.

Prospect is thinking about that price. It’s about in line with what she expected.

The salesman interprets the silence as concern. So he says . . .

Salesman: It’s a lot of money, I understand. You know, I’m sure we can get that down for you. I’m pretty sure I could do $37,500 instead.

Prospect is suprised. She didn’t see that coming. As she quietly starts to consider the new offer, the salesman gets nervous.

Salesman: Okay, okay. I can talk to the owner about doing $35,000. I’m pretty sure he will do that. But I don’t think he’d approve lower.

Prospect now sees what’s happening — she sees the salesman’s nervousness and lack of poise. She decides to see if she can push him farther.stop-sign-clouds

Prospect: Well. I don’t know. It seems like more than I could afford.

Salesman: Okay, how about $30,000? Can you do $30,000?

Maybe this example is a little exaggerated — but this type of thing really does happen. The salesman just talked the profit right out of the job. Now it’s a loser.

The main reason salespeople keep speaking after they’ve made their pitch is lack of confidence in themselves or in their product.

As humans, we all occasionally suffer from lack of confidence. That’s natural. As salespeople, though, we have to try to overcome that. If you don’t feel confident in yourself, then focus on the quality in your service.

So sell the job. Make the pitch. And then shut up!

The boy covering his mouth is by Melissa Wiese and the stop sign is from Kt Ann.



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