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August 14, 2018

A Sales Technique: "Did I Explain That Well?"

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I want to share something I learned at sales training that really stuck with me. It is a very empathetic technique that doesn’t feel natural at first, but with repeated use it gets a lot easier.  I myself am still working on presenting it smoothly.  

What I was taught in sales, is that its important to first probe your target to figure out how you can deliver value, Then, explain why your product or service fills that need, with the close coming at the end of that explanation.  The very small part I want to focus on here is when you check to see if your communication was effective.

The tip. Instead of asking the clarifying question “Do you understand”, instead ask “Did I explain that well?”.

Framing the clarifier in this way seems subtle but it is packed with implications. Most notably, if the point wasn’t effectively communicated, stating it as an “I” statement, "Did I explain that well?", implies that you are the one responsible for the misunderstanding. This is important because it ensures that you are being respectful of the target’s intelligence level while making sure they understand exactly what you are trying to say.  Growing on that, putting the responsibility on yourself is an act of humility that often goes appreciated in relationships, and anything that strengthens the rapport in the conversation is a step closer to a sale. Lastly, by allowing the target to be disassociated from the error, they are more likely to admit if they don’t completely understand, which will let you get deeper into your pitch.

You can train yourself to say, “Did I explain that well” instead of “do you understand” just as you would train any sales technique, which includes rehearsals, role plays, and memorization. And if you manage to make the substitution naturally, I’m curious to hear about your results!

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