Thursday, August 26, 2010

How to listen as a sales tool

In the 1950’s, they used to say to catch a man, you had to be a good listener. “Ask questions and he’ll think you’re a wonderful conversationalist.”

That advice has fallen by the wayside in the marriage market, but it’s still good advice in sales.

So much so, a business coach of ours used to say “…the art of sales is the same as courtship.”

In order to find out if you have enough in common to create a working relationship, you have to ask relevant questions, listen to the answers and ask careful follow-up questions.

In sales, the questions relate to the need and elicit information targeted to service or product you’re offering. Ask about past experiences, present use, immediate plans and future goals.

Find out what they expect and what the budget is.

In other words, see if you can deliver what they need, want and expect at a cost they’re able to pay.

Today, when the art of dialogue is all but dead in any situation, creating a useful conversation is an important sales tool.

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