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Sales Training Success Tip - The Gift of Gab, Good or Bad?

So, you're a great presenter. You go through your dog & pony show, and people love you. But, they still don't buy. Why is that? Maybe if you'd talk less, you'd sell more. This is another in the series of Success Tips articles by speaker and mentor Ike Krieger.

Let's debunk a myth.

A myth can best be described as a story or idea whose existence is widely believed in, but in reality “it just ain’t so.”

Based on this description I’ve created a series of articles entitled Sales Myths. Here's one of them.

Sales Myth #5: People with the greatest “gift of gab” make the greatest salespeople.

The Story: Our ability to talk clearly and give a powerful presentation is the most important factor in getting people to buy.

The Problem: You’re a good presenter. Qualified prospects seem to be impressed with your presentation, and tell you so, but are still not moved to buy.

The Solution: Stop telling your prospects the reasons why they should buy your product.

Sounds kind of backwards, doesn’t it?People do things, buy things and believe in things for their reasons, not yours.

When you’re telling, you’re not really selling at all.

Give up the need to tell, give up the need to sell (notice, I didn’t say give up the commitment to sell) and give up the need to convince and influence.

When you give up the need to tell and sell you can focus on uncovering the problems, needs, and desired outcomes of your prospect.

The results of a communications study conducted at UCLA in 1967 showed that your words as a communications device may be the least effective of all influencing tools.

The statistical breakdown of the study indicated that words make up only seven percent of an effective communication. Tone, posture, gestures and other aspects of our physiology make up the ninety-three percent that adds the emphasis needed to convince and influence.

In other words, how you say something may be more important than what you say.

Whether you agree with the premise of the study or not, one thing is perfectly clear from the results: Listening is not high up on most people’s list of effective communication tools, and I think it should be.

I believe that listening is the most important communications tool of all.

More listening means less talking.

Believe it or not, when you talk less, you’ll sell more.

By no means is this meant to suggest that you should give up talking or presenting entirely.

However, the idea that you can enter a sales situation with a canned presentation and a high “glibness” quotient, and expect to come out with a signed contract or a new client is outdated and should be modified.

Most of us have been trained that to be a good sales person you have to give your prospect a lot of information. This information usually reflects what you think they need to know from your point of view, or your company’s point of view.

Just the opposite is true. You must only give your prospect information that they think they need to know - from their point of view.

How do you accomplish this? How do you discover what your prospect really wants to know?The answer to both of those queries is Open-Ended Questions. The use of Open-Ended Questions is one of the main success ingredients in my Question-Based Sales System™.

You’ll enhance your selling effectiveness and close more sales by simply asking the right, powerful, open-ended questions and then listening carefully to the response.

Once you get that information from your prospect you can customize your reply. You’ll be ready to deliver information that focuses clearly on the prospect’s specific needs instead of your “best guess” perception of those needs.

This calls for a dramatic shift from “Days Gone By.” This is an entirely different day.

To be a truly successful salesperson you need to first identify, and then communicate throughArticle Search, the information filter provided by your prospect. The best way to identify this filter is to ask open-ended questions and then listen carefully to the answers.

Here’s the Sales Training Success Tip: Focus less on “smooth” talking and more on “hard” listening.

To your success.

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Ike Krieger is a business mentor, author and speaker. Ike can help you get more clients, more referrals and more sales, and do it with dignity. His Question-Based Sales System will help you turn your contacts into contracts, more easily and more often™. Subscribe to Ike's newsletter at

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