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Supremely Successful Selling: Discovering the Magic Ingredient by Jerold Panas

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Chapter 10

Sometimes You Have to Be Silent to Be Heard

DO YOU FEEL the same way I do?

I really enjoy shopping for a car. I like hearing about all the good stuff—the carburetor, the compression ratio, the manifold. I even ask about the length of the axle.

I don't know a darn thing about what any of that means. I just think I'm supposed to ask those questions to appear auto-savvy.

What I really like is to wallow in the leather seats. I like an instrument panel that looks like the cockpit of a 747. I also like to see how the various salespeople in the showroom handle themselves.

Well, Felicity and I were shopping for a new car recently. We walk into the showroom. We begin looking at one of the first cars in our path.

Before I can even turn around, a salesman comes up to me. He sticks out his hand, introduces himself, and begins singing the virtues of the car we are glancing at. We have a tedious discourse on gas consumption, safety features, and motor efficiency.

Here's what I found interesting. Not once does he take time to ask us any questions. Not a single question. He would have put a televangelist to shame.

He has absolutely no idea what we might be interested in. Some folks aren't hard of hearing. They're hard of listening.

He should have followed the advice of Zig Ziglar, the über master of salesmanship: You can sell anything you want if you will just understand what the other person wants. No one ever listens himself out of a sale.

We escape from that place as soon as possible. ...

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