Edit ModuleShow Tags

Listen your way to a sale

People buy for their reasons, not yours.  Sometimes they even buy in spite of you.  Once you accept that premise, your mindset should be to find out what is important to the prospect.

The easiest way to do this is by asking questions, and by listening to their responses.  By listening, I mean taking note of what they are saying and responding appropriately.  Using the technique called "Active Listening" will go a long way in developing the sales cycle.

An integral part of "Active Listening" is known as backtracking, or being able to review and summarize aloud to your prospect what they just told you.  There are four reasons for doing this:

1. To be sure that you understand your prospect's statements.

2. To allow your prospect to correct or revise their comment.

3. To gain rapport by letting the prospect know you are listening to them.

4. To give you time to think about what to say next.

By using the other person's key words and prefacing your response appropriately with statements like "So what you are saying is . . .," "Let me see if I understand....,” “What I hear you saying is…,” “You're feeling like…,”  you enable your client to keep talking more than 70 percent of the time.  You then begin to extract their concerns.  Using their exact words is usually better than using your words because it reduces the risk of misunderstanding to practically zero.

  Repeating the other person's words is very powerful.  Usually you can pick up their key words by listening to the vocal emphasis they put on them.  To insure that you build and maintain rapport as you are repeating, be sure that your voice quality and gestures communicate interest to your prospect. 

You want your prospect to know that you are attentive and understand what he or she is communicating to you.  Taking notes will help with the repeating process and shows that you are really tuned in.

Studies have shown that words are only 7 percent of communication.  That means if you rely on words only, you are leaving 93 percent of your communication in the car.  Therefore, you must pay attention to facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures and posture.  When you learn to notice and understand the non-verbal message, along with fine-tuned listening skills, your sales calls will improve dramatically.

There are really only two steps in the sales process:

1.  Communicating to your prospect the simple message "I understand you .”
2. Your prospect must have the belief and conviction that you can help them and that they are  willing and able to use your help.

 If you repeat words such as "I see…," "I hear…," and “I understand…,” to your prospect, you will ultimately become a better communicator and listener.

Edit Module
Gary Harvey

Gary Harvey is the founder and president of Achievement Dynamics, LLC, a high performance sales training, coaching and development company for sales professionals, managers and business owners. His firm is consistently rated by the Sandler Training as one of the top 10 training centers in the world. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or gary.harvey@sandler.com.


Get more of our current issue | Subscribe to the magazine | Get our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

GenXYZ Photo Booth Fun

GenXYZ party goers loved the photo booth and the chance to appear on the cover of ColoradoBiz magazine. Enjoy candid images from the evening.

Three obstacles to connecting on and off the job:

As you open yourself up to more options in life, you expand your ability to face challenges with a positive perspective, which has a direct impact on the outcomes in life, including how you see yourself and others.

It's time to rethink old-school performance reviews

Change is happening almost everywhere at a pace we’ve come to accept, but some critical areas remain stuck firmly in the past. One of those is performance reviews, which some brave companies are rethinking with great success.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Thanks for contributing to our community-- please keep your comments in good taste and appropriate for our business professional readers.

Add your comment: