When someone asks what makes a good sales person, you often hear that they are good talkers. Is that really the best skill you can develop as a sales person?
Saturday Sales Tips
The quieter you become, the more you can hear



Welcome to another Saturday Sales email, and a big welcome to my new subscribers that have signed up in the last week. I really appreciate you joining me and finding out more about how you can achieve better sales results.

So, how has this last week been for you?  Have you managed to get everything done for Christmas? I’m still behind but I’ve decided that this weekend is the weekend I’m going to nail it and get it sorted!

It’s also been a very interesting week when it comes to lots of things in relation to politics. Whilst I’m not going to talk about politics within my email, (‘thank goodness for that James’, I hear you cry!) I do want to focus on a subject that’s been a key part of what’s been going on this week with the whole debacle related to Brexit and what has been going on with the Prime Minister. One of the comments that was made of the Prime Minister was that she had not listened properly to the people she works with, and whilst I’m not going to go into everything that is right or wrong here, I do think there’s a really important point for us all to take into account when it comes to sales.

I hear people saying to me a lot about how important it is to talk, to be able to engage and to have the ‘gift of the gab’.  It’s true that whilst it’s important to build an emotional connection, the thing I want to talk about this week, is how important it is in sales to be able to listen effectively.

Being able to listen effectively, is probably the most important skill you can have when it comes to selling. If you don’t listen, you can’t identify what’s going on with your prospects and what’s taking place within their world to be able to start to understand how you can work with them.  I’ve always told people that have worked with me that you must seek first to understand and then be understood and in order to do that, you have to listen.

So, in this email, I’m going to give you nine quick tips on how you can listen more effectively to make sure you get better sales results.

Listen intently to the prospect and try and picture what they’re saying.  Our minds do different things when it comes to picturing things.  So, if we can visualise what someone says and really picture the scenario, it’s going to help us engage more effectively.

2)     Listen to what they don’t say and how they say it. What I mean here is, listen to what they’re not saying – note the body language of the person you’re working with, and how they talk – what is their tone?  Are they saying it in a difficult way or a soft way? Are they talking with their arms crossed or with their head distracted or with their face screwed up? Listen to what people don’t say and how they say it and adjust your approach in line with this.

3)     Control your urge to interrupt them.  This is something I have to work on a regular basis because my passion sometimes over-rides allowing my prospect to speak – but it’s essential that you do this.  Don’t interrupt them, let them talk. Control the urge and it’s really going to help you listen to what they’re saying.

4)     Use body language to show that you are listening. You can do this through showing that you’re being attentive.  Have your arms open, nod your head in agreement with what the other person is saying and ensure you are giving good eye contact.  Show that you’re listening through the body language that you’ve got.  Don’t lean back in your chair and look as though you don’t really care. Don’t sit forward in a creepy way but show that you are listening through your body language. Be open to really listening with the prospect.

5)     Put all other thoughts out of your mind. You don’t really want to be thinking about what you’re having for dinner or what is happening later whilst you are meeting with this person.  Ideally, you need to say to yourself that for the next half hour (or however long you have) that you will work and engage with this person and listen to them. That will help you to make sure you then give them the time that they need in order to really understand them, certainly from a sales perspective. Concentrate on this conversation! Other things can wait!

6)     Remove other distractions. It’s key that we remove our phones or that we have phones on silent in pockets.  You don’t want to be seeing flashing lights during your meeting as they cause us to wonder what’s being said or what’s been happening, and you know you’ll want to check that notification! Whilst you’re distracted in your own thoughts, you won’t be listening to your prospect. Removing these distractions is going to be a big help for you.

7)     Adjust your response and show flexibility based on what you’ve been told. I talk to people a lot about having frameworks around which to base your conversations. It’s really important that if you hear something from your prospect based upon a question you’ve asked them, that you don’t ignore what they’ve said and just go onto your next question. Show that you really listened and follow up their comment with a question related to the point they made. Adjust your approach and response to show that you can really listen to the prospect, which in turn will help show the prospect that you really are interested in them!

8)     Use questions that are open and prompt thought with your prospect.  This is something I talk about as being key in sales and you can use this to really tune into what your prospect is thinking and feeling when it comes to the sales conversation.  Being able to answer questions that prompt emotional thoughts and feelings around what the prospect is going through is really key, so use these to really help get the information around what your prospect wants and it’s going to help you listen more effectively.

9)     Re-confirm what you’ve heard. If you’ve written things down in a nice-looking notebook, you will be able to reconfirm with your prospect a number of things. To be able to check over some of the key points and clarify what has been said shows the prospect that you really have listened, you’ve clarified the elements of what’s going to happen, and you can then outline the next steps going forward.

I believe these nine quick tips are important to you when it comes to listening to your prospect. If you can show that you’re listening, you can adjust your approach and understand where the prospect is, in order to be able to know if there is an opportunity to go forward.  Maybe there isn’t at the moment, and you will have picked this up if you have been listening. You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble later on from listening effectively to start with.

I hope these tips have been useful for you.  Do you struggle to really listen to your prospects? Is this an area you feel you need to improve on? It is well worth applying the suggestions above in your next sales meeting. Let me know how you get on!

I have also shared a video this week which is all around three questions I recommend you DON’T ask your prospects – because the type of response you are going to get back will not be what you’re looking for. Take a look at the video and let me know what you think.

So, I hope you’re ready for Christmas!  One more email from me before we go into the Christmas break itself and then I’m going to leave you guys to have some great quality time over the course of the New Year. 

Make sure you do everything you need to do from a Christmas perspective and if things are starting to quieten down, do any bit of preparation that you can to make sure you’re ready for 2019!

See you again next Saturday!


Sales Trainer and Mentor

I specialise in working with successful service businesses who want even greater sales success


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