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Another trainer and I were both sitting with an MD of a small IT business, an interesting prospect. The other trainer was keen to highlight how Customer Service is the core skill that everybody in any organization should be concentrating on. He is right. Anybody with any contact of any kind with a client or prospect is selling and representing the business. So much revenue is reliant on existing contacts and clients so you want all your people to be excellent at looking after them. No disagreement from me!

So why am I mentioning my contact in the training world? To all intents and purposes, we were competing for the short attention this interesting prospect had at this networking event. I have to give it to that other trainer; he really explained his case and made sure we both knew just how much experience he had both as a successful director in his previous roles and now with some great clients of his own. Oh, yes, it was clear that he was passionate about what he has done and passionate about how he can help.

But that was the problem. The MD we were sitting with was just not engaging. Now, he’s unusually quiet for an MD, but that wasn’t an excuse. It was an opportunity.

Having agreed with everything the other trainer had spent the last five minutes talking about, I simply turned to the MD and asked him what he saw as the top challenges he had. It turns out they are rapidly expanding and he’s got problems getting his team members to stick to their own areas of responsibility; marketing activities are so much more alluring than sales activities for example. “Hmm, yes I can understand.” The MD soon found an excuse to leave the conversation. “Stay in contact” he said to me, quietly. I now have an appointment with him.

So why did I get invited to have a conversation the other trainer did not? The MD was quietly spoken, so I was quietly spoken; I matched his personality style and consequently he felt I was easy to talk to. I expressed interest in and understanding of his specific situation and I didn’t tell him anything about myself; I helped him discover that I might have an answer without selling to him. In other words, in the process of talking with him I demonstrated the difference between what his salespeople are probably doing (using similar tactics to the other trainer) and what they could be doing instead if they worked with me.

Remember, when it comes to your products and services, NOBODY CARES. They can only be interested in whether you can solve issues they have. That’s it; they don’t have the attention or the energy for anything else. Stop selling, stop talking.

If you are based in Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, Sussex or Kent and you'd like to know more about talking less, contact me and we'll see how we can get you selling more!

Paul Glynn

Paul Glynn

Sandler trainer