Most of us in sales have heard it said that “when you’re tellin’, you ain’t sellin’.” Very true. The key is to listen to the other person. That way you can learn about their wants, needs and desires.
When teaching people how to prospect via telephone, I explain that there are actually two reasons to encourage the other person to talk – one is for the reason stated above. The second is that – now really get this – nobody is ever going to hang up the phone on you…while THEY are talking! 😉
Bring that thought into any sales process, whether on the telephone or in person. Make it a goal that, whether you are simply establishing a relationship with a prospect, or actually giving a presentation that will hopefully result in a sale, that you talk only 25 percent of the time and listen 75 percent of the time.
And, the way to accomplish this is to ask questions. Questions that the prospect wants to answer, allows him or her to enjoy the process, and provides you with the information you need to help them toward the sale.
Remember what the great sales master, J. Douglas Edwards used to say: “Questions are the answer.”
How are you doing, percentage-wise in terms of listening versus talking?