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

  1. When you notice that you’re speaking too quickly. I often catch myself talking too quickly, especially on the telephone and during presentations, so I constantly remind myself to slow down.
  2. When you feel your emotions getting the better of you. Sometimes people will say something that triggers an emotional response in us. Slow down and try to prevent your emotions from having a negative impact on what you say.
  3. When you don’t understand the other person’s perspective. When a prospect or client references something and you are unclear what they mean, slow down for a moment before forging ahead with the conversation. Ask him what he means by saying, “Can you clarify that for me?” or “What do you mean?”
  4. When writing a sensitive email. If you need to write a sensitive email, slow down and carefully choose your words so your message will not be interpreted. I highly suggest that in sensitive situations, you pick up the phone and speak directly to the other person.
  5. Before returning a call from a customer or prospect. Make sure that you have all the information necessary for the call before you dial. This includes a list of questions you need to ask if a prospect has called about a particular product or service. A few minutes of preparation can make a big difference in your results.
  6. When you’re rushed. I realize that this sounds contradictory, but here’s the rationale: When you are feeling rushed, you are more apt to make a mistake. So, if you’re in a hurry, make a concerted effort to slow down, check your work and prevent a mistake from occurring.
  7. When you don’t know the answer to a question. Many salespeople feel obligated to respond to questions even when they don’t know the answer. Instead of falling prey to this fatal mistake, slow down and tell your prospect that you don’t have the answer but will make sure you find it for her.

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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