The Italian way to say “be quiet” is “statte zitto.” In a home including one daughter and five sons, each born a year or so apart, I can’t count how many times I heard my Italian-American father say these words. Sometimes, it was a request for us to be quiet. Other times he added an explanation point and “statte zitto!” became “shut up!” Either way, it was Dad’s mute button.

When Dad said “statte zitto,” it was actually a demand for all around him to attain an utter and complete state of silence. It was his directive for his children to stop talking and start behaving. He meant it was time to become a statue. No fidgeting. No pinching or punching each other. No dirty looks, either. “Statte zitto!”

The literal translation of “statte zitto” is “status silent.”

As a salesperson, there are two specific times when we would do well to listen to my father and attain a “state of silence” to provide better solutions, increase average sale price and convert more prospects into customers.

  • After asking a “good question”;
  • After presenting our Contract.

Asking good questions AND presenting a contract are the two biggest steps we can take to convert a prospect into a client. Most successful salespeople not only take these two steps, they also know when and why to be quiet while taking them.

There are two reasons to be quiet after asking a good question:

  • To provide better solutions;
  • To increase average sale price.

There is one good reason to be quiet after presenting a contract:

  • To improve closure rates.

Being quiet at these critical points will allow us to solve our clients’ problems better and improve our closure rate.

Not only that, we often will find we achieve a higher average sale price when we shut up and listen to our prospects before presenting them with a cookie-cutter solution.

Furthermore, when we provide our prospects with better solutions, they experience better satisfaction from their purchases. Customer satisfaction should be the goal of every business. Satisfied customers are also the foundation for a successful sales career because they provide referrals, reviews and repeat business.

Ask good questions, present contracts properly and be quiet. “Statte Zitto!”  I hear you, Dad… loud and clear!

Be sure to read the next article in this series of blogs on sales by Mark Milanese, “Ask a Good Question & Be Quiet.”

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