Listening is one of the secret weapons of top sales performers. Unfortunately, most sales training focuses on how to talk to clients.
Smart sales people figure out that consumers buy based on what they think, not what you tell them to think. The first step is to understand this opportunity and then work the customer psychology of it.
1. Inherently humans are self-interested. It’s true. Regardless of how much we might try to fight it we like to talk about ourselves. The trick is making sure that it is the prospect, not your that gives into this self-interested temptation.
It never hurts to give a little prompting: “What do you think about…?
2. High probability your sales pitch will trigger objections. The harder you sell, the faster you pitch, the more likely you are to strike a nerve in the prospect. These pet-peeves or irritating themes that may be embedded in your pitch will only challenge you with objections to overcome.
Listening can tune your ear into their objectives and preferences.
3. You never know what the customer wants. You can assume, but ultimately you are likely to lose this guessing game. The more you listen and ask good questions the better prepared you will be to pitch the right line.
Given the chance to talk, prospects will give you clues to what they really value.
4. Prospects will often tell you what it takes to close them. Kind of like the clues they leave you for what they want–they will often tell you how to close the deal. A few well placed questions will draw out what assurances they are looking for to make them comfortable saying, “yes.”
Many times there is only a single key concept (i.e., free trial, discount, testimonial, feature) that will close the deal–listen for it.
5. Customers that close based on “their idea” are happy customers. Another big advantage of putting more listening into your sales is the likelihood that prospect with feel the closing was their idea. Buyers remorse can be a big customer service and brand nightmare. The more you guide the customer based on their ideas, the happier they will be.
Everyone like to feel like they are in control. Give your prospect that opportunity.