This past week we were taught that when you are getting to know someone, especially a prospective customer, they should talk 90% of the time and you should talk 10%. Apparently studies have shown that the more someone else talks, the better they like you. I admitted several times over the course of our training that the 90/10 rule is the hardest part of prospecting for me. Hell, it’s the hardest part of life.
As you all have come to realize by now, I am verbose. I am also an over-thinker, an overachiever, and a perfectionist. I want to tell someone everything I can, especially if I really believe in what I’m talking about. Another tidbit of knowledge I gained, “Don’t spill all your candy in the lobby.” Sometimes less is more. It’s a hard lesson for me to apply.
The Friendly, Silent, Questioning Stare is also a great tool for a top sales-person. I think it translates to life very well, too. One of our trainers said that in the beginning he would sit there after asking for the sale and feel all of the unsaid words bubbling up from inside, just waiting to erupt like a volcano. He would think of what he didn’t mention, what he could have done better, and want to break the silence. A 30-second pause would feel like 3 hours. He had to use every ounce of his strength to push those words down and wait for the other person’s response.
I easily recognize that talking too much is a fault of mine. I am working on fixing that, although I know I’m still not very good at it. One of the reasons is that my brain is full to the limit with countless thoughts, ideas, feelings, desires, hopes, fears, uncertainties, doubts, and emotions busting at the seams to get out.
Just to give you a slight hint at the current shit-storm in my brain, here are random snippets of things that are bouncing around in my head. I’m not going to try to organize these thoughts, and they are in no particular order, just what happened to pop into my brain as I was typing.
- “Success is the progressive realization of worthwhile goals.” That is the most inspiring thing I learned at my sales training. I heard it at the very, very end (even after the test). In fact, I got misty-eyed. You would have to listen to the entire presentation to understand, but this resonated with me so strongly. I am a success if I’m taking steps towards a worthwhile goal, and I definitely think I’m doing that right now.
- Just because I’ve wasted some time floundering around being lied to and deceived doesn’t mean I’m not successful or I can’t be in the future. Maybe it means the goal I had wasn’t worthwhile (trying to make a marriage work with someone who hasn’t told you the truth since day 1). Or maybe I had to do that floundering in order to understand what is worthwhile and what isn’t.
- “If you’re not making mistakes, you aren’t doing it right.” Wise words from a friend spoken to me last Saturday. I’ve been letting that ping around in my brain ever since, and I like it. I am finding it easier and easier to admit to the areas where I’m making mistakes, partly because I know it gets me closer to where I want to be. Life is full of beauty and mystery and wonder, but you have to take chances and sometimes make errors in order to grow, learn, and get where you want to be.
- “He has always been unsure about me, unhappy, dishonest and cheating from the earliest moments. All the while I was living in blithe ignorance of what was really going on.” From a woman whose life seems eerily similar to mine right now, emilylonging, in her post Were things ever good? Those words ring so true. We were in two different relationships. I never had the full truth. I was living in blissful ignorance (some of my own making), and every single “good memory” we have ever had together is tainted in some way with a lie, deception, or half-truth.
***All of this time I had somehow convinced myself that this was the best it could ever get for me – that not dying was the same as living.***
There is so, so much more, but that’s just a taste. A great friend of mine told me that there’s nothing not complicated about me. That’s very true. For now, I’m going to accept the fact that I think and talk too much. It seems like some people still like me anyway.