Captain’s log, stardate 20200207
Sent by Jonathan Stark on February 7th, 2020
This one is simple:
Just shut up.
The point of a sales interview is to figure out if there is a good fit between your business and the client’s business.
It’s not to pitch. It’s not to convince. It’s not to persuade.
You’re just trying to get a good understanding of the client’s situation.
The client should be talking 80-90% of the time. And in the 10-20% of the time when your lips are moving, you should be asking questions. Like a doctor would in an initial visit (e.g., "What brings you in today?" or "Where does it hurt?" or "How long has this been happening?").
If you’re talking much at all, you’re doing it wrong. You should ask short, open ended questions to keep the prospect talking, while you take tons of notes.
If they use any unfamiliar terms, acronyms, or jargon, ask for a definition. If they answer with something vague, ask them to go a little deeper so you can understand exactly what they really mean.
Not only will talking less help you uncover what your prospective clients really desire (and how badly they want it) but it will also project confidence and professionalism and care.
A lot of fast talking doesn’t close deals. It projects desperation and erodes trust and decreases perceived value.
Let the prospect do the talking.