When you’re trying to sell your product or service to a potential client, there are three power words you should keep in mind to help you sell. These three words are: I don’t know.
This may seem counterintuitive, since as sales people we’re taught to know our product and to know all of the answers. We’re taught to have an answer for everything, and to be able to explain the benefits of our service.
When you talk too much during a sales pitch, however, you can lose control of the conversation and you can lose the prospect’s attention. Your prospect is more likely to be engaged and attentive if they are doing most of the talking.
The “I Don’t Know” Mentality in Sales
The reason why the concept of “I don’t know” helps in sales is because it actually decreases your chances of selling if you talk too much or over-explain. It’s best to only do 20% of the talking, and ask questions to encourage your prospect to do more of the talking. This encourages your prospect to engage in the conversation more, instead of zoning out while you over-explain your product or service. Remember that whoever asks the questions controls the conversation.
Find out what your prospect’s needs are instead of explaining the benefits of your product or service. Think of it as sales in reverse. If a prospect asks you if your service is good, respond with “I don’t know, it depends what you’re looking for.” When they explain their needs, you can then affirm that in their case, your service would be very good.
Don’t Be Too Eager
An amateur salesperson will eagerly sell, but a master salesperson will make people want to buy without saying much at all. Let your prospect do 80% of the talking. Let them tell you what they’re looking for, and reassure them that you’re a match for their needs. This way, they’ll basically sell themselves.
Slow Down and Redirect
Don’t talk too fast. What’s the rush? Slow down and make your prospect feel calm. Always calmly answer a question with a question. Do not go into the fast-talking, justifying mode. For example, if your prospect asks you, “Why is your service so expensive?” you can redirect instead of going into a 15-minute justifying explanation. You can say, “I don’t know, sir, why do you think people are happy to pay my rates?” Chances are, your prospect will be able to answer that question themselves, and come to the realization that it’s because your service is very good.
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