The more you’re talking the less you’re selling. Listening just might be the most underrated and overlooked sales skill of all. If you let buyers talk long enough, they’ll eventually talk themselves into buying whatever you’re selling.
Try these three tactics with your next prospect and the odds of a desirable outcome go up exponentially.
1. Ask Insightful Questions
In the early part of the sales process, stay away from questions that are aimed at determining the product fit. They’re tactical, closed-ended and not very interesting. It’s more important to understand WHY buyers are evaluating products like yours, beyond the obvious reasons.
Facilitate the conversation with open-ended business questions about how they’re dealing with industry issues and the resulting changes to the business. They’ll welcome a more engaging conversation that’s just as valuable to them as it is you.
2. Put on Your Therapist Hat
As buyers tell you what they’re trying to accomplish, why it’s important to their business and some of the challenges they’re experiencing, resist the temptation to start talking about your product solutions.
Instead, respond with something like, “if I had a dime for every time I heard that…” It tells buyers you understand exactly what they’re talking about. Then offer up a short story on another organization that’s dealing with the same circumstances. It’s all about making them comfortable with you! Play the role of a therapist by being a good listener and contributing something of value to the conversation.
3. Play the Role of Advisor
Whether buyers ask directly or not, their expectation is that you’re dealing with many organizations just like theirs. At some level, they want to know what everyone else is doing and why. Don’t disappoint them. Shift into advisor mode and tell them things they may not know.
Share a story or two on how other organizations have been creative in dealing with the same circumstances. Without saying it, the implication is that these other organizations are using your products to succeed.
Eventually, the conversation gets to products. But when you make these three things a standard practice, your buyers will be pulling you through the sales process more often versus you pushing them through it. Your credibility and consultative approach is what will make your organization unique.
Speaking to prospective customers in their language is one of the hardest things for salespeople to do because it’s not their comfort zone. The easy fix: spend more time learning about the business dynamics of your target customers versus acquiring more product knowledge. There are plenty of product experts to tap if needed. Buyers still buy from people they relate to best. Products are the logical justification for their decisions.
Content & Context Are King!
Sales methodologies are frameworks. The content and context that you use to drive those methodologies are more important than the methodology itself.
Proficientz specializes in content and context. Our framework and training programs give you a simple recipe for developing meaningful business content to drive the sales process in the proper context of the people you’re interacting with at all levels of the customer organization.
Now is a great time to plan your sales development programs. Contact Proficientz to supercharge your sales process and up-level the business skills of your sales team so they can win more.