3 Times When You Absolutely, Positively Need To SHUT UP!

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Shut UpLet’s not even debate the point. It’s a fact that most sales people just talk way to darn much! In particularly, when the pressure is on and the sale hangs in the balance, suddenly a near involuntary muscle spasm ensues and takes control over the sales person’s mouth.

While in general, you need to learn to listen far more than you speak, there are a few definitive times during the sales interaction when you just have to shut the trap.

#3: After Answering a Defensive Question
The prospect asks you a question, perhaps based on rumour or just plain nonsense. You knew the question was coming and had the answer prepared. Answer it quickly and to the point, and then shut up.

Prospect :
“So, I heard that some of your customers had to uninstall the entire system after only a few months, is that true?”

Sales Person:
“No, Steve. We have never had a single un-installation in 15 years. In fact, we have won the award for best service the last 6 years in a row.”

That’s about it. Too often the sales person goes on and on in an effort to justify the answer. Truth needs no justification. The more you try to convince the prospect and prove the truth, the less the prospect will believe it. Shut up.

#2: After Presenting the Price
Following on the lines of the above, you need to be quiet after revealing the price. Routinely sales people continue blabbing after the price in an effort to justify it.

Sales Person:
“So, Sarah, the whole thing comes to only £2,295 and that includes free delivery and set up. Now, that also comes with the 2-year warranty as I mentioned. Plus the service. (Silence) And don’t forget you get the extra side panels as well. Plus that price includes a discounted maintenance plan. So all of your service calls will be at half costs. Plus that price…”

SHUT UP! As mentioned in #3, the more you try to justify it, the less believable it becomes.

#1: After a Closing Question
The number one time during the sale when you need to dam the mouth waterfall, is right after you ask a closing question. Wait for an answer before you say anything.

Sales Person:
“So we can set up the delivery on our standard time, which would be next Thursday. Or would you like it on a rush order?”


Sales Person:
“Or we can always work it out for the following Monday.”


Sales Person:
“In fact, I might be able to work out a small discount if we push it back two weeks for the delivery…”

You know if you just be quiet and allow the prospect to think and respond, some of them just may buy.


Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Oriol Salvador at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 5 December, 2012

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