Sales Secret - Shut up

No, really…

Sales Secret #5 Shut up! When I was in my early twenties, fresh out of university and in my first field sales role I learned my first and most important sales secret.


Rather Watch Than Read?


If you listen to people they will tell you what they want. Then you simply rephrase their own statements formed into a pitch and they will buy and will think you clever.

The key to success is not simply to ask leading questions and then corner somebody into agreeing – that is poor selling skills. It is essential that you let people talk, about whatever they want to talk about. As people talk they will give you clues to what is important to them. It is these clues that you use to build your pitch.

This the at the center of my favourite selling addage: ‘Let the prospect write the script!’

A simple example would be a car salesperson that makes an effort to learn about his customer. If he learns the man has young children then he might focus on the safety features and the low maintenance costs. If the customer is a young, single man he might focus on performance, to a businessman the prestige aspect.

You get the idea!

This is not rocket science but it does require that the salesperson slow down and think.

It is about the customer! So, make it all about them!

The only way to know what is important to a customer is to listen. The salesperson’s job is simply to get them started. Don’t try to be clever or manipulative – just friendly and attentive – listen carefully and ask yourself, ‘what is important to this person?’

Don’t judge, just listen and understand.

The best salesperson will talk twenty or thirty percent of the time. With up to eighty percent of the time spent listening there is an opportunity to craft powerful messages to control the sale.

Practice this in social situations.

Start a conversation with anybody, prime the pump and let the conversation flow – listen carefully. Soon you will understand what is important to the person in front of – powerful information!

So, stop talking and start listening!