Listening: The most powerful sales skill of all
The key to successfully sharing and selling a product, service or idea, is to ask questions and then listen quietly and carefully to the answers. Many of us try too hard to convince people to buy instead of discovering what our future customer or client really wants, needs and desires from us.
To succeed in sales, remember these three listening and relationship building skills:
S – Sincerity – Listen without an agenda, it’s not about your needs.
E – Ethics – Don’t try to talk someone into something, listen to what they want.
A – Asking – Serve others by asking questions that will assist them in making a wise buying decision.
Building win-win relationships means remembering that it is not about what we want but what the other person wants. Here are three relationship building skills that, when used regularly, will have you increasing sales and creating satisfied loyal customers.
1. Listening sincerely and without an agenda. The buying process is not about you and your wants and needs, it is about the customer. Too many of us come to the sales table with our own agenda. We are sometimes too busy thinking about quotas, promotions and commissions. It’s not about us, it’s about the wants, needs and expectations of the prospective buyer.
A sales person with an agenda tends to push too hard and often doesn’t listen well. Leave your agenda at home. Sincerely focus on your customer and how your product can best serve their hopes, dreams and goals.
2. Don’t talk someone into something, allow them to make their own buying decision. Doing what is right for everyone involved is the ethical thing to do. I’m reminded of a phrase from Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
Your role in the sales process is to present your product in a clear, concise and truthful manner—with integrity. The best customer is the customer who can make an educated decision based on what is best for them. A loyal customer is an educated customer. You are not in the convincing business, you are in the sharing business. Your job is to ethically offer the product, service or idea, explain the benefits and answer questions. Your customer or client will then make a buying decision based on the information they’ve been given. Making the sale is about asking questions, answering questions and building a trustworthy win-win relationship.
3. You can serve your client/customer best by finding out what they want, need and expect from what you are offering. Sometimes, we are so excited to share everything we know about what we’re offering that we forget it is about your potential customer’s expectations. What is important to you may not be important to them.
Ask questions and listen. Don’t assume that what is important to you is important to your future customers.
Successful selling isn’t about what you want, it is about how can you best serve the needs of your customers and clients. Coming from a sincere place of service, will help increase sales and develop loyal client and referral base.