Unfortunately, all too many salespeople fall into this same trap, explaining and educating to establish their own credibility and expertise; displaying their own knowledge in the hope of generating interest and enthusiasm; and discussing features and benefits of their company, product and/or service. By listening 70 percent of the time, and verbally addressing the prospects' questions 30 percent of the time, professional salespeople possess the ability to be far more successful in the long-term than their inexperienced or amateur counterparts.
Sometimes, the best listeners make the sales Have you ever heard an adult say that a goal is to retrieve critical information such as: child loves the sound of his or her own voice n Budget requirements. so much that he or she does not stop talk- n How the decision-making process works. ing? Well, the same n The prospect’s level of commitment, and can be said about why a prospect buys from vendors. salespeople. unlike This is accomplished by asking questions, talking too much as especially the tough ones. a child, it can cost a Just as important as asking questions is salesperson a lot. answering only that which has been asked. People in always assume the prospect knows nothing sales tend to have about you, your products or company — and extremely outgoing say nothing unless asked. Too much informa- personalities. Inher- tion can raise a red flag — for every hour a ent to this character Danny Wood salesperson spends talking with a customer, trait is the ability to five minutes may be spent selling while 55 talk to just about anyone … about anything. minutes usually involve discussions that work unfortunately, all too many salespeople fall against the salesperson and ultimately jeopar- into this same trap, explaining and educating dize a possible order or stall. to establish their own credibility and expertise; The result of talking too much and answer- displaying their own knowledge in the hope of ing unasked questions leads to prospect anxi- generating interest and enthusiasm; and dis- ety that could stall or even shut down the sale. cussing features and benefits of their company, even though the salesperson has done all of the product and/or service. work to equal the playing field, the prospect’s Studies indicate that inexperienced sales- sense of urgency seems to suddenly disappear people speak approximately 30 percent of the and he or she becomes harder to reach. time during a meeting, while the prospect When making a sales call, it is impor- speaks about 70 percent of the time. In this tant to heed all of those funny sayings from scenario, the salesperson remains in control our childhood — zip the lip, button up and of the sales call although they are inexperi- don’t be a motor mouth. Listening, being enced. They don’t have enough knowledge attentive and asking questions is far more of the product to dominate the conversation, empowering than droning on and on about so they ask a lot of questions to find out the oneself. Building rapport is an art form that prospect’s issues and challenges and the real should be kept short, simple and sincere. By reason prospects ask what they do. We call this listening 70 percent of the time, and verbally the “dummy phase” of a salesperson’s career. addressing the prospects’ questions 30 per- The positive of this is that the prospect does not
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