Small Talk

February 27, 2007

Well, how is everybody today?

Today’s subject is about “small talk”. I could go on forever about this subject. This blog is going to be for the beginner as well as the advanced.

For beginners, small talk is for two main purposes. One to relax yourself and the second is to relax the prospect. In theory it sounds pretty simple but like anything else it is a learned skill. Regardless where the prospective sale is to take place, a business, some one’s home, a car lot, a bank it really is academic, the key is to find some common bond or something you know something about so you can relate to them and they can begin relating to you.

I happened to be observing this salesperson the other day and the salesperson just went into the business and just tried to talk about the purpose of why they were there. No small talk, no nothing! Needless to say the results were not exactly what they were looking for. It could be something as simple as an article of clothing, jewelery, shoes etc.. I have also found it extremely helpful to add a sense of humor to the mix. It seems ironic that in a recent poll women were asked what characteristic attracted them to a man? Answer…If they make me laugh, sense of humor, if their funny. Sense of humor is not only one of the Eight Basics of Success, but I found it to be a salesperson’s best friend! Imagine, if you were in someone’s business or home. If you are studious you would never run out of things to talk about. Never forget, people never get tired of talking about themselves or THEIR interests. Now lets go a little deeper.

A trained professional salesperson uses small talk to try and qualify the prospect and make sure they are indeed a prospect. Real estate agents are notorious for it. They slide in things during the small talk like “Oh, where do you work?”, or “What do you do for a living?”, or “How long have you been doing this?”, that it sounds exciting?

The problem with most sales persons is that they do all the small talking and forget “The Specialist’s” golden rule of sales, you must be a good listener! To the really advanced salesperson the relaxing and qualifying takes but a few seconds even for the most standoffish prospect. What my small talk is about is closing the sale. I am listening and searching for clues on how to close this prospect. What will it take? If I am a good listener the prospect will tell me exactly how to sell them. I have proven that thousands of times in front of trainees and experienced sales persons alike. I also use the small talk to give the prospect time to like me. When I am done with my small talk the sale generally is already closed! The presentation is just a formality.

I have seen countless times the salesperson talk the client out of the sale. Over and over again. I once saw a very nice young couple come onto a car lot and the young wife kept telling the salesperson how her dream since she was little was to have a cute red car. The salesperson showed her everything on the lot BUT a red car. He was too busy “selling” her, his idea of what she wanted instead of picking up on the GIGANTIC KEY she gave him in the small talk! Cute RED CAR! I heard it, her husband heard it…Why didn’t the salesperson hear it? Needless to say he didn’t get the sale.

This next statement is for another post. Then he blamed it on THEM that he didn’t sell the car! Imagine that! As you get more advanced you will also use small talk to overcome objections that haven’t come up yet, but because you are really good only you can anticipate. You can even use small talk to plant seeds that later on during the presentation you want to harvest. Now that’s really advanced! As you can see small talk is a very intricate part of the closing process. It surprises some people, here we are talking about the initial contact with the prospect and we are already closing them. It just reinforces an earlier blog where I mentioned that the close is not at the end of the presentation but a process that starts the minute you meet the person, and never ends.

“The Specialist”

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4 Responses to “Small Talk”

  1. rhea (ray) Says:

    hi there…i must say i’m interestead in small talk and i ask my husband all the time about how to find a common intrest and its hard for me! i’ve always been told i’m a people person but when it comes to my job and trying to sell things…i dont feel like that “people” person! how do i know that the small talk i make with them, wont effend them?? i find it hard for myself to try to find that “common” intrest! do you have any advise on how i can be htat “people” person everyone says i am!

  2. Nlo Says:

    My small talk is off the chain. Is seems to be one my expertise if you will. However I seem to be in a slump. What do you have to say about living up to expectations? Those of your bosses, peers, and even yourself? Could those expectations possibly be dragging me down?

  3. TheProfessional Says:

    What a load of hooey!

    “What my small talk is about is closing the sale. I am listening and searching for clues on how to close this prospect. What will it take? If I am a good listener the prospect will tell me exactly how to sell them.”

    Selling is something you do WITH the prospect not something you do TO the prospect.

  4. greatsales Says:

    To The Professional,
    I have to believe that you must be a professional salesperson. In reaching that conclusion it was obvious to me that you are NOT a professional READER or a professional person when it comes to comprehension skills! If you read the post that you so readily quoted there is no where in there that says or indicates or implies that I condone using any technique TO SOMEONE! These techniques are to be used enjoyably WITH the prospect as ALL of my posts make crystal clear. So to quote you here’s a big “LOAD OF HOOEY to you Sir”.

    “The Specialist”


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