The Key - Getting Prospects to Listen!
Frank Belzer is the Sales Archaeologist and Author of Sales Shift.
All of us have, at one time or another, experienced a problem with communication.
Wife, Girlfriend, Kids, Parents or Co-Workers - Maybe even Prospects?
Basically when our sales process breaks down in some way and the opportunity fails to progress or close there is usually a problem with communication. Everything about sales involves communication and therefore we could logically say that sales people need to be really good at communicating.
The most obvious breakdown in Communication involves the sales person failing to listen properly to the prospect. Listening in such a way that more questions can be created from what they say. Listening to the point where you pick up on their demeanor and body language. Listening in such a way that they actually think “this person is actually listening to me”.
Then there is another aspect of listening that affects the sale – the prospect listening to you! Interestingly there is a point when this is really important. When you are offering the solution and connecting it to a problem they have - When you are sharing next steps with them; if you are talking about cost; when you are conducting a demo.
In all these cases - when we need and want the prospect to listen to us – the timing in a great sales process puts these occasions after we have listened to them. Interesting? As we listen to them and understand them and ask questions that nobody else has we are earning the right to talk (or present) and when we do they will be listening - Probably keenly listening.
When we go straight to talking or presenting, or even if we just get there too early we have not earned that right, so they may drift in and out or not hear key points that they need to hear. We have not used listening as a way to build the relationship and so we are not able to ask tough questions of them. They may even (most likely) feel that we don’t understand their world and sometimes they are right.
So on your next sales meeting – focus so intently on listening and asking questions and understanding their concerns and emotions that you really do understand them 100%. Make sure they are talking far more than you are and have a fail-safe that if you start talking to much you can stop yourself – “I’m sorry I get so excited about our product that sometimes I talk way too much , I would like to know how you feel about_____?”
There is a shortage of listeners in the world. At Home, In Politics and yes in Business; As Sales People you cannot afford to be in the Non Listener category.