Top sales producers are masters of the zipped lip, says sales coach Mike Brooks. Yet about 80% of sales reps are pitching more than listening, and jumping in whenever their prospect takes a breath, he says.

Most of the time, they aren’t really hearing what their prospect is saying. They are just waiting for their turn to start selling.

With cold calls, just say … nothing
When you’re selling over the phone, it’s even harder to resist the temptation to talk. You can’t smile, nod or reflect your buyer’s body language. Your voice is all you’ve got.

But it’s best if it’s used sparingly. Try these cold calling techniques to get better at listening over the phone: Use the mute button.

After you ask your prospect a question, hit your mute button. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it will make you a better listener:

  1. No matter how much you want to jump in, it lets the buyer talk and talk. You can blurt stuff out and all the while your prospect won’t even hear it.
  2. The silence on your end will encourage your prospect to keep talking, and as they do, they’ll reveal crucial information you can use to close them – if you just let them.
  3. By remaining silent, your prospect will literally “feel heard,” and this will help you build a stronger rapport – which will get them talking even more!
  4. You won’t talk yourself into anything. You’ll be better able to tell who’s likely to be a real deal and who’s not. Listening for this difference is a mark of a top closer.

photo credit: ~Brenda-Starr~

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