The perception that you have to be a big talker to be successful in sales is so far from the truth. The stereotype of the used car salesperson talking a consumer into buying a car is prevalent in society and has demeaned the reality of professional sales. Sales is simply about finding a need, opportunity or want and then fulfilling it. According to the One Minute Salesperson, the essence of sales is helping people get the good feelings about what they bought and about themselves. So how do we discover what people want? By asking questions and then listening intently. Too many salespeople set up a client meeting and then launch into the features of the product and the price without ascertaining whether or not it will benefit the buyer. Our sales team sets up an initial customer needs analysis where we learn about the prospects objectives, competition, marketing strategy, customer profile and then we go back to the office and do our homework. One of our prospects mentioned this week that we were the only company in the media that actually took this approach. Surprising. If I pick up the phone and call a car dealer and ask for the price of a car, there is no simple answer. The car salesperson needs to know my budget, my space requirements, the options that are important to me, the terms of payment and so on. So the reality is that the more you talk, the less you learn. On your first client meeting, don’t talk about your product and its features; talk about the prospect and their needs. It’s never about you and always about them. And it’s never about features and always about benefits. I have never bought a new car because of the gas mileage or the technical specifications. I have bought a new car because it looked good and felt good to drive. So stop talking and start selling.