3 Simple Ways to Talk Less and Listen More

A Case for Brevity

On November 19th 1863 people gathered in Gettysburg Pennsylvania for a dedication ceremony. The keynote speaker was a man named Edward Everett and he spoke for more than 2 hours. Abraham Lincoln who was also scheduled to speak, spoke for just two minutes. Even though Everett’s speech was longer, Lincoln’s short 2 minute speech is now regarded as one of the most elegant, thoughtful and well-crafted speeches in American history. The Gettysburg Address certainly makes the case for brevity and the power of saying less.

On today’s show discover:

  • …how talking less can help you sell more
  • …and 4 Ways to train yourself to talk less with your next customer


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Do More

When you’re in sales they always wants you to do more. Make more calls, learn more products, talk to more customers, close more deals. More, more, more. But there’s one thing you can do less of to close more deals and that’s talk.

We covered the power of silence back in round 15 of the KO Sales Coach. Among other things we discussed how

  • using silence at the right time can encourage your customer to make a decision;
  • it gives your customer a chance to tell you everything you need to know to make the sale;
  • and you’ll stop sounding like every other typical salesperson. Many customers feel salespeople are fast talking, pushy and only care about making the sale. When you do the complete opposite you stand out as different, interested and helpful.

If talking less and listening more is so important why don’t more salespeople do it? Because like any skill it takes practice and a conscious effort. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Here are three simple tips you can use to get started.

1 – Post a reminder for yourself to WAIT.

Now WAIT stands for Why Am I Talking. A visual reminder can be a great tool when you’re learning a new habit.  If you’re on the phone it’s easy;  just post WAIT where you can see it. If you’re in face to face sales you might need to get a little creative and post something under the counter, on your clipboard or some other place you can see it and be reminded.

2- Ask one question at a time.

When you ask a 2 or 3 part question it can be hard for a customer to follow and if they can’t remember everything they’ll probably end up answering just the last one. That means if you need the other information you have to go back and that wastes time.

3 – Avoid setting up your questions.

Setting up your questions is unnecessary, wastes your customer’s time and causes you to talk too much.

Here are a couple examples “If you don’t mind me asking, how did you break your arm?” By asking the question we’re assuming they don’t mind so why not just ask the question. (the set up is unnecessary just ask how did you break your arm? )  

Here’s another example: “Now that I have a better understanding of how this can help you let me ask a few more questions to determine how much you’ll need. How many times a day are you planning to use it?”

Bonus Tip

When you’re customer’s talking they’re interested!

Today’s One Two Punch

Talk Less to Sell More

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