He who listens, gets the sale

September 18, 2014

By Ray Barry, NAID Deputy Executive Director

The sales professional who listens the best, wins the sale. It is the most important part of the sales process yet it is the most overlooked sales skill.

Unfortunately, most salespeople would rather talk instead of listening to the client. Salespeople are not trained properly how to listen effectively, nor are they taught that skill in school. As they say here in the South, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.” You should listen at least twice as much as you talk. Letting the prospective client talk is a powerful way to build know, like and trust feelings. Prospective clients love the opportunity to talk about themselves and their businesses, not the salesperson. The best perceived communicators are the ones that allow the prospect to do just that.

Here are some tips to help you become a better listener:

  1. Have prepared questions that force you to listen.
  2. Don’t interrupt.
  3. Listen to understand.
  4. Take notes. It’s a sign of respect.
  5. Ask for clarification.
  6. Think about what is said before commenting.
  7. Limit distractions.
  8. Visualize the situation being described to you.
  9. Be quiet, or shut up (whatever you prefer).

You can learn much more about your customers and prospects if you listen to them. A funny thing happens when you are listening to the prospect: they become clients.