Listen, Listen, Listen
Remember—Prospects hold the key as to why they'll buy, and you will learn this only if they're talking and you are listening.
Why Do Salespeople Tend to NOT Listen Well? It is known that humans think faster than they listen. While a sales prospect is talking at an average rate of 125 words a minute, the average salesperson is thinking at a much more rapid rate. The act of listening, the differential between the salesperson's thinking rate and the prospect's speaking rate means the salesperson's brain can and does work with hundreds of other words, in addition to the ones being heard. Often the salesperson is thinking about what they should or will say at the expense of what the prospect is actually telling them.
Can A Salesperson Learn to Listen Better? A comprehensive study completed at the University of Minnesota examined the listening ability of several thousand students and hundreds of business professionals. One of the primary conclusions of this study was that immediately after the average person had listened to someone talk, they remembered only about half of what was actually said - no matter how intensely they attempted to absorb all the information communicated.
Listen 80 per cent of the time and talk only 20 per cent.
People hate to be sold, but love to buy and simply help customers to get what they want—accomplished through listening.
Active listening intentionally focuses on who you are listening to, whether in a group or one-on-one, in order to understand what he or she is saying. As the listener, you should then be able to repeat back in your own words what they have said to their satisfaction. This does not mean you agree with, but rather understand, what they are saying.
The challenge at hand for all sales personnel is to learn how NOT to construct their ideas and responses during the most critical stages of their selling process. This is not easy to do given the sales prospect is also subjecting themselves to the same listening distractions. It is no wonder so many sales calls "fall apart" after the salesperson missed a key point made by the prospect and consequently lost or never got the order.
Perfect your “30-second commercial”. Create and rehearse a succinct summary of your company, focusing on the benefits of doing business with you.
While prospects want to know about features and advantages, they usually buy benefits.