We hear story after story about the positive impact of letting the other guy talk during sales calls. You just don’t hear examples of clients/prospects complaining that they talked too much. It seems so logical. It seems so simple. It makes so much sense. But it is so much easier to say it than to do it. Often, the outcome of the sale is dependent on the “air time”— who had how much of it, and when did they have it?
It is counterintuitive, and it goes against our instincts. In some ways, it can be frustrating, and it’s not always fun. But letting the other people have the majority of air time is one of the basic contributors to success.
We want to speak, we like to talk about our products and services, we enjoy solving problems and we understand the importance of addressing needs. It feels good to have the answers and we feel like we are in control. We get to show what we know. It is our chance to be on stage.
Those are all good reasons to speak. They are all coming from a good place. The intent behind them is positive and you will eventually get to do all this. Just wait your turn. If the other guy does most of the talking, lots of good things happen.
Remember, the more you learn during the questioning stage, the better relationships you build, the better recommendations you make, the fewer objections you encounter and the more deals you close. Understanding the client—their needs, problems, issues, goals, aspirations, worries, concerns and fears—is what eventually leads to success. You never learn any of this stuff when you are talking—but you can learn lots of this when you listen.
Of course, this applies to your non-business life as well. Watch what happens when you encourage a spouse, partner, parent, friend or child to have the bulk of the air time. When you meet someone new at a party or company event, get them talking about themselves and watch how warmly they respond to you. Show interest in others and it will confirm everything listed above.
Yes, it is hard to do. We see this often in our sales training workshops. And our team will tell you that as much as we talk about all this, we often are challenged by significant others to do a better job of practicing what we preach. It is not a natural way for most of us to interact. But if we do, good things happen.