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The Less You have to Say the Better

Information in sales follows the universal laws of supply and demand. When the customer has their own large supply of comparable information or expertise, the demand for you and your product information will diminish.

If your customer has mastered the knowledge of your offering, or has the luxury of time to research it intensely, is comfortable with most of your technical applications, the less they will need your insight and expertise.

"A study of conversational patterns of sales professionals and their clients revealed that the seller talked 49 out of every 60 seconds. I have to pause after such a statistic and ask what can you possibly learn while your mouth is moving," says Mitch Anthony. Ironically, to go from being invisible to visible with your customer, make sure your product or service remains invisible as long as humanly possible to maximize your leverage. The less you have to say, the more memorable you can be, and the easier it is for your customer to understand you.

According to Jacques Werth, the first sales person who educates the customer is the least likely to get the business. He goes on further to say, "The longer one speaks to someone who has not said yes to your offering the less likely they will get a yes."

Enthusiastic, positive, optimistic, can-do, high-energy selling played a key role in the pre-information economy because your job was to disseminate a lot of useless information to those who did not have easy access to useless information and did not know better. It also was to compliment and jazz up your information to create hype. Everyone was happy.

According to Dr. Susan Campbell and her three-year study of human interaction, she found that "roughly 80% of the average person's communication was geared towards controlling things beyond their control." Imagine how much higher it would have been if she studied the typical sales information evangelist.

You cannot consistently control someone to reach into their pocket and give you money, or give you an order by the quantity or quality of your information. Ultimately all important decisions are made for or against you on the basis of insufficient information and instinct. Information sellers are simply working on the wrong side of the equation with their logical and self-serving appeal.

I read once that in 80% of criminal trials, four out of five guilty decrees are made before a shred of evidence is presented. Can a similar argument be made in selling? Probably. Definitely!

"You can't teach (sell) a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself," said Galileo. Selling requires you to make critical decisions every day about your information. Be very diligent in assuming nothing, and be prepared to verify, validate or void all information you receive and give out.

There is true value in information thrift and very little value in information evangelism. Be aware too often loose lips sink ships (deals). So be very discriminatory as to what you say, when you say it, to whom you say it to, and how much you say. Most orthodox sales people love their information so much that when they are not talking they are thinking about what they are going to talk about next.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com