When you meet a potential customer are you confident that you can figure out how to help them to buy from you? Listening is a key Sales skill. Are you a good listener? Take the Richard Grehalva listening test to find out.
1. Do you spend more time talking than listening? Yes □ No □
2. Do you come up with a response in your head before the other person finishes speaking? Yes □ No □
3. Are you eager to talk about your solution? Yes □ No □
4. Do you daydream while your prospect or client is talking? Yes □ No □
5. Do you jump in and finish their questions? Yes □ No □
6. Do you ask so many questions, the client or prospect does not have time to think and answer them? Yes □ No □
7. Do you make a judgment about what is said before the speaker has finished? Yes □ No □
8. Do you answer a question with a question? Yes □ No □
9. Do you frequently interrupt? Yes □ No □
10. Are you quick to provide advice even when not asked? Yes □ No □
Add up your Yes’s and No’s to review how you did. If you have 8 or more No’s – congratulations, you are an excellent listener.
This test is sourced from a fantastic book called ‘Unleashing the power of Consultative Selling’, Selling the way your customer wants to buy… Not the way you like to sell! by Richard Grehalva. (author of the Boomerpreneur Revolution). Here are five pointers to help you improve your listening skills:
• Don’t be afraid of Silence
• Never interrupt
• Focus on what other person is saying
• Make the client feel heard
• Ask questions to clarify or rephrase or summarise to show understanding
• Do not rebut
So why is it important to listen to your customers? Everyone knows that people buy from people that they like. Building rapport is absolutely paramount and listening to the other person is the essential starting point.
The biggest challenge facing the modern salesperson – remember every startup promoter is the key Salesperson – is helping potential customers to buy.Customers whether B2B, channel partners and consumers require information to build their business case and reduce any risks perceived in the purchase. The more you listen the more you learn and the easier it will be to create a compelling case to facilitate your customer to buy your product/solution. Do not be fooled, listening is not easy but if you can master the skill it will help your stand out from the crowd.For further reading on the new rules of selling I really like this book by John O’Gorman (who i went to college with) and Ray Collis ‘The B2B Sales Revolution’
As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.
There is a fascinating discussion on a LinkedIn titled ‘The more you listen, the more you sell. So why do salespeople typically talk so much?’
Donncha, listening is key I couldn’t agree more. It is worth noting the executive suite from a buyers perspective can be a lonely place, if the buyer trusts the seller and feels they will listen well, they are more likely to open up. However listening needs to be balanced with the ability to share insights that the buyer sees as interesting. Insights or stories will open up a two way conversation.
Thanks for your comment. You have just introduced my next blogpost. After taking time to listen, when you do get to talk, what do you say? I love telling stories of past challenges faced by clients and how they were resolved. The ultimate objective is a natural two way communication which leads to a win win sale.