I was guest speaker at a meeting a few weeks ago and a chap I was chatting to was telling me that after 18 years of having 3 women in the house now that his daughters had left he was having to learn how to talk again!

My thought was he must have been a very good listener which brings me to the subject of today’s article.

Sales is about listening to understand the buyer needs.

The old stereotype of great salespeople was that they were great talkers and had the “gift of the gab”.  In today’s sales environment studies of behavioral characteristics of the top salespeople consistently show these people listen “more constructively” than their average counterparts.

Constructive – Construction = building.  Listening constructively means to listen for things upon which to build your questions and solutions on.

Great salespeople ask great questions and actually listen for the information the prospect is giving and then use this information to build the next question.

This is the key to formulating the best solution for the prospect as it helps us to get a grip of the prospects core issues, needs and motivation.

Most average salespeople haven’t planned their questions and instead of planning their next question are in fact impatiently waiting to talk about their solution.

A study published by RainToday.com found that 74% of 200 purchasers surveyed at companies across America said they would be “much more likely” to buy from a salesperson if they would just simply listen to the buyer.

Next time you are out at a function be it at Chamber event or a party and you meet someone new, take note of who does most of the talking and more importantly your reaction to this person.

I believe we are more attracted to people who are genuinely more interested in us – it comes back to our basic human nature.

I think it was Mark Twain who said “A bore is someone who opens his mouth and puts his “feats” in it”

A good rule to follow is “be more interested than interesting”

The only person who can tell you their real need is the buyer.

We will look further at what makes an exceptional salesperson in my next article.

Quote of the Week:

“You can listen a buyer into a sale faster than you can talk them into one”

Unknown Author

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group.