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Business Matters

Shut your mouth!

Don't speak till you're spoken to!

Children should be seen and not heard!

Shut your face!

Sometimes speaking can be irritating for others. Oddly enough parents, despite being desperate for baby's first word(s), are only a few short years later desperate for them to be quiet.

Parents often have good reason for this desire for silence. A constant barrage of questioning about "how this..?" and "why that...?"; attacks of repetitive questions (designed to wear you down) "Are we there yet?" "..but why can't I?" are exhausting and drive you to distraction at times. I know this because I am a parent and I've been there.

Of course, questions are an essential part of sales. No supplier worth their salt could sell anything without finding out what their potential customer wants to have. Even when the customer asks for what they want, you as the supplier still needs to ask more questions. Customers seldom know all of the wrinkles of meeting their needs well enough to add them to the original request. The exception to this perhaps is public tender situations when the specification is more detailed and thought through, but even then there is the opportunity to enhance the bid by adding value that the customer didn't think (or know) they could get.

Part of the problem is expectation. If you only ever have had brown sauce with your chips, you might never consider that mayonnaise is amazing with chips. (It is truly fantastic). So part of the sales process is letting your potential customer know that there are additional possibilities that they may never have encountered/ thought possible/ imagined. Try this next time you're in a restaurant: ask for something you want that's not on the menu. You'll be surprised how often the answer is "Of course you can have that". (Obviously restaurants can't imagine everything you might want therefore they write a menu as a starting point.)

So don't expect your potential customer to know what they want. It's your job to professionally advise them, guide them and help them to buy from you. That's what sales is about - delivering customer satisfaction and meeting exceeding their expectations.

If you don't ask you won't get. Another thing we were told as children. How true that is in the business world too. Ask for the sale don't assume it all happens by telepathy.

There are loads of reasons why we should ask lots of questions and keep our mouths open.

In one situation I can think of you should keep your mouth firmly shut: when you're


travelling at twenty miles an hour down a forest track. Flies, spiders and midges taste absolutely dreadful!



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