Don’t Pitch — Talk

Sales Conversations That Convert

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You are a great salesperson, but you’re always striving to be even better. In fact, you are working toward being a superstar. Reaching your fullest potential doesn't require magic or even luck. The success of elite reps lies in their methods. By studying and adopting their conversation strategies, you can experience their level of success.

Conversation Strategies

At SalesHacker’s 2018 Revenue Summit held in San Francisco, Amit Bendov, CEO & Co-Founder, of Gong.io, shares research into 1 million sales calls that revealed the best ways to convert calls into sales. Here are some methods that might help you get to quota faster.

Controlling the Agenda

Top sales reps control a conversation's agenda. They manage that in part by spending more time talking about next steps in the sale, such as sending a proposal, having a face-to-face meeting, or scheduling a follow-up phone call. In fact, top reps discuss next steps in the sale for 8 percent of the call in comparison to 5 percent for average sales reps. While that may not seem strikingly different, that 3 percent leads to more closed deals. Remember to always advance the sale.

Controlling the Rhythm

The term "fast talker" is generally considered to be a negative one, but research shows that star sales reps speak more quickly than their less successful peers. While the average person speaks at 150 words per minute, most people comprehend better at a rate of 200. If you are a slow conversationalist, you need to speed things up. Fast talkers simply close more deals.

Back and Forth

Sometimes, sales people try to take control of a conversation by doing most of the talking. The study showed that the most successful sales calls reveal a clear pattern of back and forth between rep and the prospective customer. Verbally overpowering the customer is not effective. They always need to have a voice.

Questions

Top performing reps not only ask questions evenly throughout their calls but also prompt customers to ask a number of questions as well. On the other hand, average reps tend to ask more questions at the beginning of the call and then trail off — and their prospects ask fewer questions. More conversations are converted to sales when questions are freely asked and answered between all parties.

Client Talking Time

When you are trying to close a sale, it may be tempting to talk more than you should. While your speaking speed should be relatively fast, you should not talk all the time, and you should definitely not interrupt your customer. Star reps allow their clients to speak for longer periods without interruption than average sales reps. Letting the client speak freely can be difficult to do, but it’s necessary to perfecting your sales conversations.

Team Selling

Perhaps surprisingly, the most effective sales conversations involved more than one sales rep. When two or more sales reps were on a call with a client, more sales progressed. In fact, twice as many sales moved forward than they did with only one company employee. Star reps are excellent team players.

You don't need magic to sell well: you need sound methods. Fine tuning your client conversations can make all the difference in your career. If you want to raise your sales game from average to stellar, you need to study the conversation methods of star sales representatives and see what works for you. By making a few simple adjustments, you may greatly increase your conversion rate.

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