If I asked you to describe your typical salesman, what would you say? For me immediately envision the used car slime-ball talking your ear off before I even mentioned anything about a car. Not a pretty picture. I mean why would I give my business to someone like that?
The new era calls for a new age salesperson, someone who is not just a smooth talker, but who can actually connect to the client on a deeper level. The best advice anyone has ever given me about sales is to shut up and listen to the client. How does this give you an edge?
- You’ll uncover their pain points. By listening instead of immediately pitching, your customers will open up about their needs. This will give you a better idea of their expectations and how to best work with them. By listening, and asking the right questions you can immediately qualify the opportunity.
- You’ll gain their trust. Every potential customer is looking to find an answer to a problem. If you start by pushing your product in their face without establishing the need first, the customer will likely be put off. Try to uncover their problems and then resolve them, this will build rapport and trust.
- Think long term. Effective salespersons build a strong relationship with the customer to establish an army of loyal customers. This can only be accomplished when the salesperson understands the mind set and personality of each unique client. A quick deal great; but a multi-year recurring customer is even better. Solve their problems, and go great business.
My father always told me, “There is a reason we have two ears and one mouth, so you should do twice as much listening as you do talking.” Only then we understand the customer. So, listen up!
While we’re on the topic, here are some tips to improve your listening skills:
- Face the speaker and maintain eye contact, give him/her your undivided attention. This will show that you are genuinely invested in the conversation
- Relax and be less formal. You don’t have to turn the conversation to a staring contest. Relax and enjoy the discussion, pay close attention to the speaker’s body language and other nonverbal cues and adjust your stance accordingly
- Keep an open mind and don’t judge the speaker. Also, don’t practice your answer while the speaker is still talking, give him/her your full attention and try to understand what he/she wants to convey. The answer should then come naturally
- Don’t interrupt. Repeat DO NOT INTERRUPT the speaker to give your suggestions or even to ask a question. Let them finish what they want to say and even then, only offer advice when prompted to.
- Give the speaker regular feedback. Nod and show your understanding through appropriate facial expressions and reflect the speaker’s feelings when you respond verbally
Listening is a skill that can be polished with practice. For more sales tips please visit our blog or contact email@example.com