Selling has more to do with listening than talking. Learn how paying enough attention can make you a sales superstar.
Most of the time, business owners get disappointed with the coaching they receive.
Because they don’t get what they came for.
Vicky is a perfect example. She says that so many coaches give impressive theoretical advice that doesn’t really have any real-life value. While all those concepts seem appealing, applying them doesn’t yield the desired results.
It’s what she believed in before she came to Oompf Global. But soon after starting our program, she realised that it’s different than the rest.
She finally received actionable ideas that she could put into motion immediately. More importantly, those ideas started generating great results.
In this article, we’d like to discuss a concept that can transform your sales performance – active listening.
While many people know what it is in theory, most business owners fail to apply it. They get so caught up in pitching that they don’t listen to their prospect. And more often than not, this is the main reason why a deal falls through.
When you listen to your prospect carefully, you can get all the information that you need to sell more effortlessly.
Let’s see how.
What Can You Learn?
Just because you have a predefined offer doesn’t mean that everyone will find it equally valuable. Each of your connections will have specific needs that your offer can meet in some way.
After all, being a VITAL firm is all about understanding what your audience needs. And these can vary greatly.
Because of this, you need to start listening carefully to what your prospect says. Doing so will uncover all the information that you need, such as:
1. The Specific Problems They’ve Faced
Generic scripts and pitches can stunt your growth more than anything. If you merely follow the same text across all your connections, you likely won’t get very far.
It’s because every prospect has a different experience that led them to you. Sure, there might be common overarching themes, but everyone has specific issues that they hope your offer can fix.
There’s no way of knowing what those issues are unless you let your prospect do the talking.
Doing so also lets them feel heard and understood. You show your prospect that you genuinely care about solving their problems more than getting their money.
2. How They’ve Tried to Solve Those Problems Before
People like Vicky are a perfect example of why you must listen to your connection. As mentioned, the reason why she found our coaching so valuable is that she finally found the right solution to her problem.
Entrepreneurs often try to solve their problems in many different ways. And the same goes for your clients.
You must find out what didn’t work in their previous attempts before you can help with their problems. Then, communicate how your offer is different.
This is how you’ll see which areas of your service you should prioritise. Not only can you land a client more easily, but you’ll also get them better results and ensure that they stay with you.
3. What They’re Looking for in a Solution
How can you sell without knowing exactly why someone wants to work with you?
What you think is valuable about your service might be far away from the value that your prospect is looking for.
Maybe they need ongoing support more than they need the actual product or service. Perhaps they care more about working with a reliable team than how much it costs.
You must have this information available if you want to sell. Otherwise, you might emphasise an aspect of your offer that the prospect just doesn’t care about. Doing so would only waste your time and result in a failed attempt to sell.
Your pitch can pretty much create itself when you listen closely to your prospect. Once they open up, they’ll tell you everything you need to know about selling to them.
Tips for Better Listening
Now that you understand why listening is so important, it’s time to dive into how to do it right.
The good news is that active listening is a skill that you can learn, not a built-in trait. It’s surely an advantage if you’re naturally a good listener, but practice beats talent every time.
So, here’s how to boost your listening skills:
Tip # 1. Focus on Their Words (Instead of Immediately Formulating a Response)
The moment you hear something interesting, your brain jumps to creating a response. And when a prospect objects, salespeople immediately start coming up with ways to overcome it.
This is a huge mistake that makes you a poor listener. If you focus on the response, you’ll fail to notice valuable information that you can use to sell.
Because of this, you should always listen to the prospect with full attention.
Come back to the words that the prospect is saying once you notice your brain jumping ahead. With practice, you can make this your default state and instantly become a better listener.
Tip # 2. Stop Interrupting
Aside from it being rude, interrupting someone is clear proof that you’re not actively listening. It’s the by-product of coming up with responses while your prospect is talking.
You might feel pressured to handle their objection quickly, which will make you interrupt them and talk over them. But, this is a sure-fire way to put someone off and make them close up.
Your prospect will almost surely see it as disrespectful, and they won’t be open to further discussions. As a result, you’ll feel the need to sell even more aggressively, which will only drive the connection away.
Ensure that this doesn’t happen by not talking before your prospect has said everything they want to say. Wait for the pause, which signals that it’s time for you to talk. And before you speak, do the following:
Tip # 3. Paraphrase What They Say to Confirm That You Understand
The first step to establishing trust with your prospect is showing that you understand their issues. You can’t sell before the other person sees you truly know why they’ve come to you.
This is why you need to confirm every important piece of information that the prospect gives you. Doing so ensures that you’ve interpreted their message the right way and avoids misunderstanding.
Of course, you shouldn’t just repeat the prospect’s words verbatim. Instead, paraphrase what they said and show that you see what’s bothering them.
You can say something like:
“So you tried doing XYZ, but that didn’t work because… And this made you feel frustrated.”
You’ll then get a confirmation from the prospect, which paves the way for further conversation.
But that still doesn’t mean that it’s your time to speak. Instead, you might want to dig deeper into the problem. And here’s how to do it:
Tip # 4. Use Open-Ended Questions to Encourage Conversation
During the sales call or meeting, your goal is to get the prospect to talk as much as they can.
First of all, it makes them engage more and consider your offer more seriously. It gets the prospect more interested in how you’ll be able to fix their problem.
Plus, the vast majority of people love talking about themselves. They surely like it more than listening to someone pitch a product or service. Letting the prospect talk softens them up and allows you to uncover even more important information.
To reap these benefits, you should ask as many questions as possible and show genuine interest in their answer. Don’t ask questions that only require a yes-or-no answer. Phrase your questions in a way that fires up the conversation and engages the connection as much as possible.
This way, it won’t feel like a sales meeting for anyone involved. The prospect will see you as friendly and helpful, making them more likely to work with you.
Two Ears, One Mouth
A VITAL business doesn’t sell – it solves problems.
Even the best offer in the world will be worthless if it doesn’t make someone’s life better in some way. This is true regardless of your industry, as all purchase decisions are emotional and based on an unmet need.
Because of this, every entrepreneur must become a fantastic listener to sell effectively.
Focus on your listening skills if you’re looking for a way to boost sales. It’s an investment that can massively pay off.
Remember to give your prospect your undivided attention and listen without jumping ahead. You never know when you’ll come across information that will help you sell.
Let the prospect talk as much as they want to, and you’ll know exactly what you have to say to close the deal.
P.S. When you are ready to have more TIME, increase your PROFITS and catapult your IMPACT here is how you can get help and increase your superpowers:
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