We’re continuing our countdown of the top obstacles to success in sales. So far, we’ve covered three obstacles.
Obstacle #7 was “Failing to Continuously Improve.” We learned that successful sales professionals always learn and improve their skills and mindset. We also discussed that learning and improving both require attention and intentional development.
Obstacle #6 was “Inability to Close the Sale.” We discussed the importance of a good selling conversation, which considers your buyers’ emotions and buying signals and your closing question.
Obstacle #5 was “Not Keeping Your Promises.” We learned that your client’s perception of your reliability affects your ability to make sales.
Today we’re taking a look at the fourth obstacle in sales success:
Failure to Listen During the Sales Conversation
Questions Are Essential
One of the most important tools you have in the selling conversation is your questions. Questions are essential to help you get to know your prospects and understand their needs. It’s how you draw out what is important to them. It’s how you discover their wants, needs, and fears.
The quality of your selling is directly related to the quality of your questions. You must enter the conversation prepared to ask good questions. You should also be ready to ask more questions as they surface in the conversation. I always encourage my clients to prepare good questions ahead of time so that they will ask better questions than their competition.
Learn to Listen
However, it is not enough to just ask good questions. Let your prospects do most of the talking as you carefully listen to what they say. What are they feeling at the moment of the conversation? How is your question impacting them? Listen and observe beneath the words. When appropriate, repeat back to them what you hear them saying. It will make them feel heard and confirm that you hear what they are saying. You’d be surprised how often people don’t hear what is being said.
Learning to listen is a skill set that many salespeople have not worked on. They are too busy talking about their product or service, listing off their great features and results, that they fail to glean information from the prospect. People want to be heard. It helps to build trust. If a prospect feels like you are not listening to them, you are already working from behind in getting the sale.
As a business coach, I help business owners ask quality questions for prospects that result in quality sales. Contact me to discuss what you can do to prepare for your next selling conversation.