Listen Up! (And Stop Talking)

Have you, as a sales person, ever unsold a sale?  Have you been talked out of a sale by a sales person’s never ending babbling?

There is a key skill that is diminishing quickly from the country (in addition to being able to write), and that is the ability to listen.  All too often people talk and talk and talk and talk.  Other times, people are too distracted to listen, whether it is by their phone, email, Facebook, or Twitter.  Are you or your sales people SO anxious to tell your prospect about all the great benefits (“Features tell, benefits sell” – NOT ANYMORE!) of your product and service, that the prospect never has an opportunity to tell you anything about his why he is seeing you?

Why aren’t people listening?!?!

It’s not an “active” skill.  It is not an “I’m going to go out there and do it” activity.  Sales people are not engaged with their prospects if they are not listening…the sales person is only caring about themselves.  “What am I going to say next?”  “What if he says this, then I’ll say this!”  “Am I going to close the sale?”  “I really need this business.”  “I know I can get this account.”  “I’m going to tell him about…”

These thoughts show two unfortunate realities: 1.) The sales person is thinking only about themselves. 2.) They are not listening to their prospect (They can’t be if they’re flipping thru their mental encyclopedia of “What am I going to do next?”

Industry research has shown that 65% of prospects would be favorably inclined to purchase from a sales person if they just listened to them!

Remember: You do not learn anything by talking.

Listening, will open a world of information that a sales person would typically miss, if they were talking.

Building rapport with a prospect does not mean having meaningless chit-chat at the beginning of your meeting, it means listening to what your prospect is (and is not) telling you.

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