Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Get Them Talking

In sales it is important that you listen to your prospect or customers needs. All too often sales representatives will talk over their customers or prospective customers. 70% of all communication is listening. A good listener will always walk away from a conversation learning more from the exchange than the talker. The talker might walk away with a feeling of accomplishment because they dominated the conversation but will not have learned much from the interaction that just took place.

While this is of the utmost importance in sales this is also an important life skill. People like talking about themselves, their families, etc. Find out what is important to someone and you can turn them into a friend for life by making them feel special. Make people feel that they are special and they will line up to support you and what you do. With all of the focus of late that has been placed on the political scene, you do not have to look far to see a great example of this at work.

Ask people open ended questions. Let them speak, and listen intently (and by this I mean give the person you are engaging your complete attention). Do not answer the mobile phone, quit texting, do not check email, let your office phone go into voicemail, etc. Your undivided attention is necessary to make this person clearly understand that what they are saying to you is truly important to you. If you are in sales you will uncover needs. The more needs you uncover, the greater the opportunity you have to sell your products and services. Outside of sales you can use this simple guideline to build stronger relationships with people, to gain buy-in from those that you lead and to motivate others.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of this kind of treatment or lack thereof? How did it make you feel? Next time it happens to you, let us know about it.

What is your greatest distraction? Checking Email? Your text messages?