I was selling employment testing material that was based on the teachings of a well-known sales trainer. The question that brought the most conversation was about closing. How do you ask for an order? When someone says I’ll think it over, do you become the nice customer service type that says “fine, call me when you’re ready” or do you go for the throat and say “what is there to think about?” You know the first response is totally wrong and the second, which is the suggested answer, will probably turn the customer off. You try to say it nicely but at this point it’s likely he’s not going to say much more. What did I do? I said gently and with a smile in my voice, “Mr. Customer, could you think out loud so I can hear you?”

I must tell you, I did not expect the response I got. He laughed heartily and said he could do that. He proceeded to tell me his reasoning and I proceeded to answer all his objections. We were both very relaxed; he purchased my product and congratulated me on my question and my closing.
There’s an old adage that says, “A smile given to another can make the difference in their day and yours too.”

Needless to say, I decided selling could be fun. I did not go back to boring bookkeeping and now that I’ve retired, these words ‘could you think out loud so I can hear you’ are my present to you.

Author's Bio: 

Helen Robinson was the VP of a large marketing firm. Before retiring she managed a Human Resource company dealing with the hiring of sales people. You will find excellent articles such as “7 Ways to Cut Loose from Old Sales Thinking” on her website at http://www.sales-training.ideatreasury.com