When so much emphasis is put on what we say to promote our business, how we say it and when we say it, it can be easy to forget that sometimes the best sales strategy is to talk less and listen more.
So to remind you, here are five tips to help you make more sales by doing less talking.
1. Give only enough information to spark interest
One of the biggest mistakes business owners and professionals make when networking, selling or talking about their business is to try and jump from introduction to sale.
When someone asks "what do you do?" or you need to give an overview of your business, your goal should not be to try and make your listener understand every facet of your business, but rather give them just enough information to pique curiosity so they want to know more.
2. Get people asking questions
One of the benefits of giving just enough information is that it will inevitably lead to a question, giving you the opportunity to share a little more with their permission.
But perhaps the greatest benefit is that their questions will give you insight into their level of interest, understanding of what you do and their current needs, allowing you to hone your approach and deliver more relevant information to the person you are talking to.
3. Only answer the questions that have been asked of you
To keep people engaged you need to keep a level of mystery. One way to do this is to only answer the question you've been asked and not give any more information. This way they need to keep asking questions to find out more.
Keep in mind though that there is a right and wrong way to do this. You want people to be intrigued not frustrated. To avoid the latter make sure you give real information and value in your answers, but at the same time keep some information guarded so they want to know more.
4. Let silence be your friend
So many people find silence uncomfortable and rush to fill it with as many words and questions as they can get out - but don't let this be you.
I've seen this happen so many times at sales meetings, pitches and networking events and you've no doubt seen it to. A business owner or professional, thinking that silence means they haven't related well with you, you haven't understood their point or that you are wavering in interest, talks more, trying to convince you of their value. But the only thing it convinces you of is their desperation.
There is power in pausing, so embrace it. If anyone is going to fill the space with conversation let it be your potential customer so you can learn more about them.
If you are someone who struggles with this and you feel you do need to say something, then ask a question. It could be as simple as "did that answer your question?" or a more targeted, thought provoking question that can prove your value or expertise.
As it has been said, there is a reason we have two ears and one mouth. Listening is the most powerful role to be in, particularly when you are selling - and we are all selling something. It is here that you pick up frustrations, needs, queues and opportunities and get to ask more strategic questions in order to position your business as a solution in a personalised way which is key.
So pay attention to the questions they ask, the responses they give and the experiences and frustrations they share. This is the information that will help you add more value, lead to more opportunities and bigger deals, and help you close more sales so keep those ears open!