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NorthStar Performance Partners, LLC | Minneapolis, MN

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For whatever reason—probably due to their traditional training—salespeople think they’ve got to tell what they know. Instead, they should practice silence.

Many salespeople think they can impress prospects by spilling everything they know about their product or service. Somehow, that seems to give them more confidence to sell. It’s important for you to know as much as possible about your product or service, but the same is not always true for your prospect. Or at least it’s not true during the initial sales call.

Features and benefits have a place in the sales process but only once you know which features and benefits are important to the prospect. Salespeople can sometimes overwhelm the prospect with details that don’t apply. There’s the possibility that more information can be less appealing to the prospect.

Prospects want to know if your product or service can help them with their specific issues and problems. Telling the prospect that the product or service can address problems they don’t have means little at this time. During the initial stages of the selling process, what the prospect needs and why they need it is your primary concern. It’s also theirs.

Up-selling, cross-selling and features and benefits may all fit the selling situation but not until you’ve uncovered the information you need. That happens when you craft compelling questions and allow the prospect to discover there are other issues that he or she may want to explore with you.

Nobody likes to be sold. Your job is to help the prospect make a buying decision. You can be the expert and educate the prospect after he or she has had the opportunity to tell you about their needs.

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