Proverb: a short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice.
Sales Proverb Series: Each month we will share proverbs that apply very well to our efforts in sales. They are written with a fresh take. We hope you will find these proverbs useful as you continue to sharpen the saw in your sales efforts.
DON’T BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW
This proverb is a long-time goodie. Are you focused or are you all over the place? Often during a call we get so excited about opportunities, that it is easy to become a bit helter-skelter. Slow down, and focus on where you can provide the most value. Yes, there may be many things you can offer, and yet it is best to focus on ONE or TWO ideas FIRST.
FIRST THINK, AND THEN SPEAK
A customer asks you a question and you immediately start to answer. STOP! THINK first. PAUSE. Don’t feel like you have to fill in the dead space immediately. Respond by saying…”Hmmm…that’s interesting. Let me think a second.” Then wait about 10 seconds BEFORE you speak. This will allow you to shape a better answer or ASK an important question. IBM used to have a giant THINK sign in all their offices – it was intended to remind the sales professional to think first, think clearly, then give a response.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
Customers will challenge you and want to know the facts, or they will ask you questions that you simply don’t know the answer to. So, don’t pretend or “dance.” Don’t hide from what you don’t know. Position your lack of knowledge on a question sincerely and clearly. Then, let them know how you will find out. And if they ask you a question that seeks to divulge proprietary information, handle it honestly and with delicacy. This will build trust and that is how you earn the customer’s confidence in you.