During a sales presentation, one of my colleagues made the statement “if you are telling you ain’t selling. ” These wise words started me thinking about selling from an entirely different perspective.
When sales people stop telling and start listening, they can begin to separate the suspects from the prospects. Depending upon your sales cycle (the time from the first contact to the actual closing of the sale), removing wasted time is another benefit when changing your approach to double your sales results.
Now that you know you have a prospect (someone who has a need) you can sharpen your listening skills to hear what is not being said. As you ask open ended questions and probe for your prospect to begin to share all of his or her challenges (what some sales experts call pain), you are actually facilitating a dialogue where you are building a relationship. During this rapport building conversation, the focus is on the prospect and off your services or products.
As the conversation continues and this may be over the course of several meetings, your goal is to demonstrate the measurable results that you bring to the table not the products or services that you are selling. Remember, there are at least 100 people standing on the same corner, wearing the same clothes and selling the same “stuff. ” So if you take the traditional approach to selling by telling, you are now even more like everyone else.
By changing your belief and focusing on the results that you deliver for your clients, you have made yourself stand out away from the crowd. As the old adage goes, “No one likes to be sold, but everyone loves to buy” works with this new sales belief. Maybe it’s time to listen to Madison Avenue from “It’s so clean it squeaks” to “Finger licking good” and start looking at the results instead of your product or service.
Copyright 2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M. S.
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