Someone walked into my office the other day and tried to sell me a charity subscription. It was one of those donation plans that automatically take money from your account every month. The moment I saw the salesman I got excited. It’s been a while since someone tried to sell me something and I always give them the opportunity to see what their approach is like. What a disappointment this guy turned out to be.
This guy was possibly the worst salesman I’ve ever seen. He made almost every mistake in the book. At some point I thought I’d help him out a little so I showed some interest and threw him some buying signs. Unfortunately for the guy, he was so caught up in his own story that he didn’t even hear me. He simply wasn’t listening.
The importance of listening
Listening to your prospect is incredibly important for several reasons. First of all you need to know everything about his needs and requirements. You need to analyse his needs in order to identify the reasons he might have for buying your product. You also need to find out what reasons he might have for not buying from you. You need to be able to identify his objections in order to be able to overturn them and the only way you can do that is by letting your prospect do the talking.
Listening carefully to your prospect also shows him that you care about him. It shows him that you want to help. If you do all the talking, you just look like you want to sell him something. And remember, people love to buy, but they hate being sold to!
Finally, the person who does the listening controls the conversation. You can steer your prospect in to the right direction by asking the right questions. If you ask the right questions, you may be able to get your prospect to commit all by himself. He will talk himself in to buying your product.
In a good sales pitch, you will be talking in your introduction to explain what you are promoting. But after that you have to analyse your prospect’s wishes and you do this by letting him speak his mind. You should be asking the questions and he should be doing the talking. Master that and you will be able to sell to anyone.
Unfortunately for the sales rep that walked in my office the other day, he didn’t understand the concept of listening. He did all the talking and after a while he simply gave up after I looked at my watch. He didn’t ask any questions, he didn’t control the conversation and he didn’t make the sale.