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Salespeople - Just Answer the Question.

How we love to elaborate…     Both in our personal and business lives.   It is rare to find somebody who simply answers the question.

In sales, it is becoming more and more critical to just say yes or no.   If you want to embroider afterwards, by all means, but tell the client you can or you can’t do it, first.


That’s what they remember, the yes or the no.
Being married to an engineer, I have learnt that if I don’t answer the question, he simply repeats it, until he gets a definitive answer..

As the above is extremely bad for marital relationships, I try to say yes or no first and then give the details.


I thought it was just me, but I have been observing my friends and the people I work with, and it is fascinating how few one word answers are immediately available.
When you are selling and a client asks you:

  • If the widget turns blue in the dark, say yes if it does, then ask if that is a key part of the decision making process
  • If they ask when you can deliver, give them a date, then you can start to unpack if that was a buying signal.




  • If they want to know if there are additional features and benefits, say yes there are and then tell them what they are.
  • If they ask if it comes in pink, say yes, then tell them about all the other colours, but first say yes!
While I know that this might be counter to the ABC (Always Be Closing) of selling, I have realised that when I am in a “being sold to” situation my perception is that not answering the question directly is a sales ploy.   The sales person’s credibility immediately drops.   I know I am being pitched, and I immediately become defensive, and not that keen to finalise the deal.





So for me it’s the moment I hear the “If I can confirm that it comes in blue, will you sign the order?” when the warning  flags start to fly…




Of course, it is important to give the reason behind the answer, particularly if there is legal risk, or a possibility of misunderstanding, the immediate affirmative (or an honest no)  is a positive step in building trust relationships during the sales process.






Links, References and Notes

Accsys provides people management solutions ie Payroll, Human Resources (HR), Time and Attendance as well as Access Control/Visitor Management.
The company develops, implements, trains and services our solutions.  We provide readers, turnstiles, booms and CCTV.
We run both on premise and in the cloud, as well as mobile options for ESS.  Recruitment, online education and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) are part of our offering, too.
http://www.accsys.co.za/accsys-peopleplace-talent-management
email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za
twitter:   @TerylSchroenn
Note:   Thank you for reading Teryl@Work.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source.

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