Let’s start with the obvious: Sales reps talk too much. Whether it’s nervousness, fear, inexperience, or just the conviction that if they stop talking the prospect will say “Not interested” and hang up, it doesn’t matter.
If you listen to calls from your sales reps, you’ll find that they simply talk past the close. They talk over their prospects. They talk after they ask a question (and don’t even let their prospect answer).
And then they talk some more…
The dangers of talking so much are many. Often times, when talking past the close, sales reps will actually introduce objections. This is a common problem and one entirely of their own making.
Another problem is they talk over their prospects and so appear rude and give the impression that they don’t care about what the prospect has to say. This makes them seem pushy and salesy, and makes the prospect want to disconnect with them.
As if all these problems aren’t enough, by talking so much they aren’t learning anything about the prospect, their needs, their pain, or about what they would like help with. I have always taught that the prospect has all the answers: why they’ll buy, why they won’t buy, what you need to say to sell them, etc. But if you aren’t listening, you’ll never hear any of this.
And that means you’re tempted to just keep talking and pitching…
The good news is that there is a powerful way to learn more about a prospect. When I give this to you, it’ll appear simple—and it is—but it is difficult to practice because most sales reps are so invested in talking.
Here’s what it is: At any point in a conversation with a prospect, if they either give you what appears to be an objection (like, “We wouldn’t be interested…”) or are just not volunteering much information, all you have to do is say:
And then be quiet and hit your MUTE button.
When you say it, say it in a way that expresses a question—let your tone of voice rise slightly. Practice it now: “OH??”
Do not disregard this as being silly or too simple to have much effect. It’s one of the most advanced and powerful tools a real closer has in his/her arsenal.
This week I challenge you to talk less and listen more. And the technique you’ll use is the “Oh?” technique. Try it and see for yourself how much more you learn from your prospects. Remember, they have all the answers…
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Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:
- Reps struggling with call reluctance
- Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
- Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
- Identifying decision makers
- Qualifying prospects
- Setting call back appointments that stick
- Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
- Staying motivated