Silence is a salesperson’s most valuable tool


By: Joe Goolsby, Regional Sales Director, Midwest Region


I cringe when I see a salesperson portrayed in media. They’re often smooth, fast-talking types with hard-hitting catchphrases: “always be closing”. While high in entertainment value, it doesn’t really fit with what’s effective in the real world. In my experience, being a good salesperson isn’t about talking; it’s about being silent, it’s about listening.

I think of salespeople more as “solution-finders”. When I first started in sales, I went to clients and asked “What are your challenges? Where do you need help?”, and then, I shut my mouth and listened. Listening helped me understand their problems, and allowed me to figure out how I could help them find a solution. It helped me develop lasting relationships, because I had my clients’ trust.

Some people are uncomfortable with silence. A lull in a conversation can be intimidating. But being silent gives your client the opportunity to speak at will, and opens up your opportunity to listen. How could I possibly find the solution they need without taking the time to understand an employer’s concerns for themselves and their employees? Everything I do, I come at it as if I was a consumer –and there’s simply no better way to get inside the mind of the consumer than by asking questions and listening to what they have to say.

This commitment to listening is one of the reasons I’m so excited to be starting in my new role at Trustmark. In today’s market, there are tremendous challenges facing employers and their employees with rising healthcare costs and keeping employees happy – there’s a lot at stake. I can already feel the family-like culture of Trustmark is dedicated to listening and understanding the nuances of each client. Plus, I’m excited by the fact that we have the service to back up the solutions we create for our clients.

Effective salesmanship has to come from a genuine place. Like Trustmark, I sincerely care about employers and their employees – and to us caring is listening. I’m looking forward to all the exciting opportunities here at Trustmark, and I’m excited about meeting new clients here in the Midwest so I can learn about the challenges they face. And, like the best in sales, I’m most excited for more opportunities to be silent and to listen.

Learn more about Joe, his commitment to listening and download Trustmark’s white paper on 3 ways to Grow Your Business with Voluntary Benefits.

Joe Goolsby is Trustmark’s Regional Sales Director for the Midwest Region. He lives in Naperville Illinois, with his wife and two children. Joe is a former collegiate baseball player and general Chicago-area sports fan. He graduated with a degree in Biology from Augustana University.