Read the quote again. The act of listening deeply to another person has such a profound effect that the impact on another human being is to engender feelings of being cared for, valued, respected, even loved! That is the power we have in any communication with anyone, and certainly a power top salespeople know how to leverage to close more business.
Why developing your listening skills can transform your sales results.
Does this sound familiar? You’re talking about your offering, trying to make a good recommendation, and you feel like you’re talking to a wall. That’s because there is an instinctive energy pattern that’s at play. You are pushing out information, and your prospect is blocking. They are in a defensive posture, afraid you’re going to try and convince them to do something they don’t want to do. This has nothing to do with the quality of your information, and everything to do with the dynamic.
When you instead ask needs-based, curious questions and listen carefully for their response, everything changes. Your prospect drops their defenses. They open up and share their thoughts and opinions, their goals and needs. The more you demonstrate that you genuinely care by listening, the more they will move in your direction. Essentially they sell themselves.
Reveals critical information.
When you’re doing all the talking, you aren’t learning anything! Be confident in your knowledge and the value you offer. You will share it at the appropriate moment in the conversation.
By asking quality questions and listening, you will uncover details that enable you to make not just any offer, but the right offer. You can find out their current needs, future needs, needs your prospect didn’t know they had. Potential business opportunities for family members or colleagues. Insights into their industry. Current challenges. Factors that could derail the sale, and that you can prepare for if you just listen. Every one of these discoveries carries the potential for more business.
Makes sales conversations easier!
When your focus is on listening and understanding, you can relax! So many advisors feel they have to work really hard to prove themselves and their value. They marshal all their facts and figures and spend most of the meeting talking. If this is you, stop it!
It’s exhausting, and your prospect will feel overwhelmed, defensive, and potentially insulted. It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you are doing all the talking, your prospect isn’t thinking ‘wow, s/he’s working so hard to help me’. They are thinking ‘You don’t care to learn anything about me. I’m just a number and you’re just trying to make a sale.’
Instead, ask a few well-placed questions, then sit back and allow them plenty of air-time to respond. Stay present and listen deeply with a relaxed focus. You will be amazed at the transformation!
Creates loyalty and referral business.
When a prospect or client feels deeply listened to, what does that mean? In their words, you hear them describing you like this: ‘he really gets me’ or ‘she takes me seriously’ or ‘he really cares – he’s not just about the money’ or ‘She’s taken the time to really get to know me. I’d trust any recommendation she makes.’ ‘I’d trust him with my life. If you’re looking for a great advisor, give him a call.’
I’ll give the final word today to Roy Bartell, Online Business & Sales Thought Leader:
Most people think “selling” is the same as “talking”. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.