Some salespeople speak much too quickly when they interact with clients and prospects. And this fast-talking habit can cost them. Here are eight situations where you may need to slam on the brakes:

  1. When opening a telephone call with a new prospect. Most people are not fully engaged when they initially answer a call. The majority are still focused on the task they were working on when the call came through. So, slow down until you have your prospect’s attention.
  2. When speaking to someone who is calling from her cellphone. Most cellphone connections are not as clear as landlines, so it’s important to slow down your conversation to ensure that the other person can hear you.
  3. Immediately before you ask for a sale. Many people are nervous asking for a sale. To relieve stress, slow down and take a deep breath before asking your prospect for their agreement or commitment.
  4. When you begin your sales presentation. Too many salespeople race through their sales presentations, often due to nervousness. When you slow down before a presentation, it gives you the opportunity to collect your thoughts and to think about the key points you want to make.
  5. Before you respond to a question. Instead of blurting out a quick answer, take a few moments and think carefully about your response. This will help you build credibility and gain your prospect’s respect (providing of course that your answer is appropriate).
  6. Before sending an email. One of the biggest time wasters is sending an email and forgetting to include an attachment. Do yourself a favor and slow down before you press “send.” Use this time to make sure all attachments are included and that your email is properly written and free of spelling mistakes (including your prospect’s name!) and grammatical errors.
  7. When introducing yourself. Do people ever ask you to repeat your name when you introduce yourself for the first time? If so, you could be speaking too quickly. Slow down when you state your name so that people can hear and understand it the first time.
  8. Before you respond to an objection. Avoid the impulse to react quickly to an objection. Objections are not necessarily negative, and slowing down before you respond can help you position your solution more effectively.

Speed isn’t everything, especially in sales. You can stand out from many of your competitors by slowing down at opportune times. Great salespeople know that slowing down at the right time can improve their sales results.

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