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When I was growing up, I was a non-stop talker. Some of my family and close friends might say I still don’t know when to stop talking. Well, most acquaintances would probably be a little alarmed about how energetic I can be and how much I can talk. This is part of the reason I knew I would be successful in sales. But, it could also have been the thing that hurt me the most. Learning how to control a conversation is an essential piece of every day in the life of an inside sales representative.

There are many different directions a conversation can go, and the important part is being able to control the way it weaves in and out of objectives, questions, concerns, and timing. Here’s some advice:

1) Be human. You want to sound natural, because no one wants to speak to someone who sounds like they are reading from a script or are trying to product dump. When I first started training at AG, it seemed funny to me that we had to learn how to open a conversation, close a conversation, and also mock call each other to practice speaking. But now, I cannot imagine going through training another way.

2) Know the right time to call. In sales, the simplest conversations are still important. In order to generate quality calls, you have to be able to connect with people live, and also know what questions to ask. Finding the right time of day to connect with someone is one of the basic steps. If a prospect asks you to call them back at a later date or time, try to nail a specific time down. If that is not possible, get times of day that works best. If they ask you to follow up at a specific time, be sure to actually call them back. You do not want to forget, since this could be the only chance for awhile that a prospect is willing to give you the time of day. Following a conversation with an email reminding them when you are going to follow up is always a good idea.

3) Listen. The most important thing in my eyes is listening. Awkward pauses are something that every person tries to avoid. Personally, I use this to my advantage in my daily conversations. Once a prospect is done speaking, I wait a beat more than usual to see if they will continue to speak. Also, when I finish speaking or asking a question, I will wait a few seconds to see if the prospect will take it from there. Of course, sometimes this does not work, but I have found that people still continue to talk in order to avoid silence. It is important not to interrupt a prospect while they are speaking because you never know what information they are willing to give you if they are in a groove. Take notes and allow them to finish before making the transition to your next talking point.

If you take anything away from this blog, it should be to speak with an even tone, allow the prospect to finish their thought, and get a follow up time to have another conversation. With these tools, you should be able to have many quality conversations.

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