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