By Theophan, Executive Sales Coach
Critical to being an effective salesperson is the art of listening. We’ve heard this before but do we heed the wisdom?
It was Friday morning and I was attending a networking event in Beaverton. The presentation had just concluded and folks were milling around and chatting with each other; there were about forty people at the event. A gentleman approached me with his hand held out. I shook his hand, briefly introducing myself. That’s when he started. I don’t think he took a breath until he was done. He wanted to print my business cards, my brochures for my company, create my flyers, and handle all of my print marketing. He made it clear that he wanted my business, but he didn’t know what I needed. Do you overwhelm people with your product or service by dropping all of your features and benefits on them before even finding out what their needs are?
When meeting someone for the first time offer them your brief elevator pitch (1 or 2 sentences) and then revert the conversation back to them. Ask them what they do, wait for them to finish, and then ask a probing question or two about their experience, their industry, or better yet, direct the conversation toward an area that will bring the end result of the short conversation to a scheduled appointment or coffee meeting where you can spend time with them and get to know what their needs really are and whether or not you can actually help them.
I would like to leave you with a thought to ponder: If your prospect is listening, you’re not selling. Learn about THEM. Find out what THEIR needs are. Build the relationship with them and find out how you can be a solution in their life.
Have a great weekend and good selling!
Theophan has been a professional coach since 2005 and has been in sales for more than twenty years. As an executive sales coach he helps executives, sales managers, sales teams, and individual salespeople overcome the challenges and obstacles that keep them from seeing explosive growth in their companies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can schedule an initial consultation with him by clicking HERE.