Have you heard this one before? The client asks an account executive a simple question. “Do you sell digital products?”

The AE emphatically answers, “Yes, we do,” and continues by reeling off a long list of options. The problem is … all the client wanted was a simple yes or no answer.

We advocate teaching sellers there is great power in simplicity. Answer openly, honestly, and with as few words as is needed. 

In this scenario, we would coach the seller to answer “yes, we do. What results are you looking for by utilizing digital solutions?” Or better yet “Yes, we do. Tell me more about why you ask.”

Here’s a recent real-life example I witnessed of how this works to create trust in you and your product: A prospect asked, “Does your early morning local news broadcast have the highest viewership in the market?”

The seller’s response, “Nope.” The prospect was stunned by the directness of the response. After a brief pause, the prospect asked, “So why should I run commercials there?” To which the seller said, Because that’s where the majority of my advertisers have success. And I know I can do the same for you.”

I observed, in real-time, the almost immediate trust and appreciation this built between the seller and the prospect.

This exchange reinforces two critical points:

  1. Customers appreciate and are more likely to do business with us when we respond with confidence and honesty than if we make excuses or give them too much information all at once. Let me say that again, don’t make excuses or give too much information all at once.
  2. Simple answers force the client to think deeper and ask follow-up questions that will give them a better understanding of the situation. If you provide too much information before someone fully understands what it means to them, you’re just wasting words.

Let yes mean yes and no mean no, and be prepared to provide more detail when asked.

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