Effective listening skills are critical assets in all aspects of both your personal and business life. In selling, being a good listener will be a determining factor as to whether or not you make this sale. Selling has often been referred to as “the science of communication and persuasion”. A good listener is a good communicator.
Still, so many salespeople fall down in this area. They are either too consumed with hearing the sound of their own voice or maybe they just don’t see it as a necessary part of the sales pitch. Regardless, here are some tips for becoming a better listener.
Two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. Start with that. It should give you some clues. Listening not only involves your ears, it also means using your eyes. Sometimes the person’s mouth might say one thing, but their body language says something else. Maybe they don’t even say anything. You need to be able to read these signals and then act accordingly.
Be an active listener
Dump your phone, focus on the person who is talking, and, if nothing else, nod your head so that they are aware that you are engaged with the conversation.
Encourage them to talk more
Have you heard of the “Five Second Rule”? No, not the one where you can pick food off the floor and eat it in five seconds or less. This is the rule where, when the other person stops talking, you wait 5 seconds before you jump in. Maybe they are still formulating what they have to say. Regardless, encourage them to talk more about those things that are important to them!
Often people will say things that, while the meaning is perfectly clear to them, it might not be so for others. Clarify! “I want to make sure that I understand your question. Is it?” Or “Can you tell me a little more?”
Ok, you’ve answered their question to your satisfaction. The big question is … did you answer it to their satisfaction? Better ask that question. Confirming is so critical in multiple areas of the sales process. It comes after a presentation. It comes before a meeting. Read on.
The last time we spoke ..
This might be at the start of your next conversation or at the start of your next meeting, review what you discussed at your last meeting and ask if anything has changed.
This might be done verbally or, if your meeting or conversation was particularly complex, it can be in a written form. Regardless, you are finishing the meeting by recapping all that was discussed and then asking the question … “Did I get all of this right?”. Remember “confirm”? Here it is again.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to need a CRM to keep track of all of these conversations. I represent Nimble, but any CRM will come with the ability to take notes, schedule tasks for follow-ups, and it should also aggregate your email messages into that contact’s record.
A good CRM is your memory bank and your client will think that your memory is photographic. That’s a good thing! If you would like to learn more about Nimble CRM, please book a free 30-minute Zoom consultation with me.