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Know when to 'shut-up'

A key skill in selling is knowing when to shut up. The process of selling involves the search for alignment, in other words trying to find common ground between what you are offering and what the buyer needs.

Negotiation involves a complex cycle of questioning, listening, interpreting, problem solving and objection handling. For many professional sales people these skills take years to master. However there comes a point in a sales meeting where you will hear the magic words or buying signals that are the trigger to say that you are moving towards alignment, typically buying signals would be:

“I like what I am hearing”

“Your product would appear to offer the solution we need”

“There does appear to be opportunities to work together”

“Could you give me a quote?”

When faced with these types of responses, you know that, what you have to offer is pressing the customer buttons. This marks the moment when you must move towards a closing statement such as:

“I will put together a proposal”

“I will arrange for dates for a demonstration”

“I will make arrangements for my technical team to contact you”

“Can we arrange a start date?”

If you are going to excel at selling you must recognise the buying signals and know when it's time to shut up. Buying signals give you the opportunity to move towards closure. So many times we see inexperienced sales people talk straight through them - the resultant effect is that you miss that golden opportunity to strike because the discussion has gone off at a tangent and more obstacles to the sale proceeding have been introduced. Remember - know when to shut up!

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