No one likes talking to a “salesman” in the conventional sense because most people’s first thoughts are a fast-talking guy who will say Yes to everything and is just there to get your money. Be it insurance on the phone or enterprise software in-person, it is critical to counter this stereotype. In my opinion this is most easily done by saying everything at half-speed. In a big sales pitch, adrenaline will be running, the spotlight will be on you, so if you keep telling yourself to speak at half-speed, it will come out at normal speed. This was my early struggle because I feared dead time – that is the moment of silence in a meeting when no one is talking, I’ve later learned that that moment of silence after a key point is critical for the audience to reflect and internalize when you’ve said – therefore things came out a million miles per hour. Also, talking super-fast screams “geek” and when you’re trying to sell anything tech to a non-tech person, you want to do as much as possible to be “one of them.”
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