Skip to main content
Sandler Training | Chicago & Northbrook, IL

You should never ask a question, make a statement, or behave in any way unless it is in your best selling interest.

When you are new to the selling profession, you don’t know much about your product or service, the needs of your customers and prospects, or your company’s competitive positioning in the marketplace. You are a “dummy” -- a descriptive, not judgmental, term. You don’t talk much. You ask a few “dumb” questions like, “Why would you want to buy my product?” and let the prospects do most of the talking. You allow them to tell you what they want, why they want it, and what they will do to obtain it. Not knowing any better, you only present the aspects of your product or service that address the issues the prospects mention. Somehow, perhaps by accident, you close sales.

Eventually, you attain “amateur” status. You obtain some product knowledge, learn something about the needs of potential customers, and uncover the weaknesses of your competitors. Not a bad thing—except you feel compelled to display your newfound knowledge. You learn how to let the cat out of the bag, stick your foot in your mouth, and paint yourself into a corner. You give out more information than is necessary. Of course, prospects now need time to “think-it-over” as they consider all the information you eagerly provide. You still close sales, but fewer of them.

At some point, you look back at what you did as a “dummy”—asked few questions and let the prospect do most of the talking—as well as the number of sales you closed, and decide that is a better strategy. When you make that decision, you attain “professional” status.

Now, you withhold your encyclopedic knowledge and only reveal bits of information when appropriate to keep the selling process moving forward. You ask those “dumb” questions and gather appropriate information with which to frame your presentation in the most favorable light.

As a professional, you do what you did as a “dummy…” on purpose. You talk less, listen more, and “accidentally” close more sales.

Share this article: