I was in Staples the other day and saw their promotion using a little red button that says, “Easy” on it. You know the one? They have commercials on it and essentially whenever a business person needs any help around the office, all they have to do is hit this button and BAM! their need is met. Would that be nice? Staples even sells little red buttons with “Easy” on them, and you’re encouraged to buy one and keep it on your desk. Nice marketing, huh?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a little red button on your phone called “Easy” and all you had to do was press it and your prospect or client would automatically start telling you exactly why – or why not – they would buy from you?
How much would you pay for that magic little button?
Well guess what? YOU DO! In fact, you have an even more powerful, more magical button then “Easy” right on your telephone, and I bet you’re not even using it. That magic button? Your MUTE button, of course.
Now I know you may have heard me talk about the importance of using your mute before, but the question is, are you? If you’re like most sales reps I listen to, then the answer is no. Oh, you may use your MUTE button when you need to get information or check on something, but when was the last time you actually used it to truly listen to and allow your prospect or client the time to complete a thought – or even a sentence?
Let me tell you why it’s so hard to listen on the phone. When you’re with a friend having dinner and you ask them a question, do you immediately jump in as soon as they pause for a breath? Probably not. You see, when you’re in front of someone, you can read their body language, you can read their face, and you can see when they are searching for just the right words to continue. During the few seconds it takes for them to find those right words, you don’t just start talking at them, do you? (I hope you don’t because if you do, you probably don’t have a lot of friends!)
But when you sell over the phone, you don’t have any of those cues, do you? And that’s why most phone sales reps talk over their prospects and that’s why most people (including you!) hate it when a telemarketer calls. They don’t listen and they don’t give you time to collect your thoughts, do they? And, chances are, neither do you…
So, let’s get back to your magic button – your MUTE button.
Here are three easy ways to begin using your MUTE button to guarantee that you give your prospects the time to complete their thoughts – and their sentences:
1) Use it when asking about who they are using now. I’m sure that during your qualifying stage you probably ask something like, “And how are you handling your lead flow now?” This is the perfect time to automatically hit your MUTE button. Expect them to answer in a sentence or two, but keep your MUTE on! During the next couple of seconds, chances are, they will elaborate.
If they don’t, just un-mute and ask, “Oh?” and then immediately hit MUTE again!
2) Whenever they ask about price. As soon as you give your price, you must always qualify and see how that landed with them. This is the perfect time to ask, “And how does that fit in your budget?” And then hit MUTE! Listen here carefully and then to prompt them after they are done by using a layering question like, “And what were you hoping to spend on this?” And then hit MUTE once again. And then listen….
3) The third time to use the MUTE button is whenever you get an objection. Rather than rush into answering it, ALWAYS get more information. Ask things like, “What do you mean?” OR “What else were you thinking in terms of this?” OR “Beside that, what other questions do you have?” And then hit MUTE directly after each of these and listen to what is behind the stated objection.
I think you can see how much more information you will get if you just listen instead of talking. You can do this easily if you just start using that magic button on your phone called, MUTE!
About the author
Mike Brooks is the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, a North Carolina based inside…