How To Say More By Talking Less


We hear it in sales all work all too often:

“We have two ears and one mouth and they are to be used in that ratio.”

When we apply this rule of sales thumb we are left with one behaviour significantly outperforming another: the skill of listening supersedes the perceived importance of talking to ‘get the sale over the line.’ It is no secret in the modern sales training landscape that there is at least 10 times more power in knowing how to effectively listen than knowing the right words to say.

But what we don’t hear all too often is why this is actually such a core part of success in sales. Why is it that learning to close our mouth at the right time goes significant lengths further in closing deals than knowing when to open it? The answer is in one term you need to be aware of when utilising this powerful sales kill: Reactivity.

In a sales and communication context, reactivity simply implies that one person is responding viscerally to another person. One person is causing the reaction, while another is being the reactor. Reactivity and reaction are emotional behaviours – they occur devoid of intellect or rational thought and often appear to be outside of one’s control, seizing the immediate moment to express themselves.

Now if you have been an avid reader of basically any previous sales material, you’ll also be aware that we as humans make decisions emotionally, and then justify those decisions with logic after we have made the decision. So what does that mean for our old friend ‘Reactvity’? Well, lets take a look at the process going on here:

1. People buy when they are in highly emotional states rather than logical ones.
2. Who ever is reacting in a conversation is the emotional one. ‘Reaction’ is an emotional behaviour.
3. Who ever is answering the question is ‘reacting’ to the person that is asking them.
4. Therefore, do you think you’re more likely to close the deal if you tell them more features and benefits, or ask more questions?

You guessed it. The power lies in asking highly impactful questions and having our buyer react to the question at hand whilst we do one thing as professionally as possible:

Close our mouths.
Whoever is reacting is buying.
Whoever is talking is reacting.
Whoever is asking questions is creating the reaction.
Whoever is creating the action will make the sale.

So with this in mind, make like a chemist and go create some reactions! Your sales revenue will thank you for it.

Darcy J Smyth is the creator and lead trainer of the Tonal Persuasion Method For Sales, a methodology designed to help you close sales without having to revert back to the Hard Sell that turns so many away in the modern business landscape – and become a persuasion master instead.

Want more? Get our weekly wrap delivered straight to your inbox!