3 Easy Listening Methods to Improve Your Sales Meetings

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How client-focused is your sales strat­e­gy? You’ve heard the advice that sales is about help­ing the client and not about mak­ing mon­ey. But are you active­ly putting that advice into prac­tice? A sol­id foun­da­tion to build effec­tive sales on are your lis­ten­ing skills. Accord­ing to Sell­ing Power’s arti­cle, “Become a Bet­ter Lis­ten­er in any Sales Sit­u­a­tion,” here are a few tips to ensure you’re not only lis­ten­ing to your client, but that they’re also feel­ing heard.

Ask Questions

The first step to lis­ten­ing is to give the poten­tial client the oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak. Mono­logues are not effec­tive sales pitch­es. Dur­ing a monologue,you’re talk­ing at the poten­tial client, poten­tial­ly and invol­un­tar­i­ly mak­ing them feel iso­lat­ed from you. And, you’re learn­ing noth­ing from them. If this is your first meet­ing with a poten­tial new client, no mat­ter how much research you’ve done, there is still so much you don’t know about them and their company’s needs. So, open up the floor to them. Ask them ques­tions to show that you val­ue get­ting to know them, as well as their input. Sell­ing Pow­er edi­tors rec­om­mend ask­ing ques­tions such as, “What is your cur­rent pur­chas­ing process?”

Let the Client Speak

Once you’ve got the client talk­ing, don’t cut them off. Some peo­ple get dis­heart­ened or even angry when they are inter­rupt­ed mid-sentence or mid-thought. So, keep a men­tal tal­ly of the com­ments you’d like to make and ques­tions you want to ask and save them for when the client has fin­ished speak­ing. By then some of your ques­tions may have been answered. And, ask­ing ques­tions based on dif­fer­ent parts of the client’s response shows that you were lis­ten­ing and think­ing through every­thing they had to say. That will help them feel val­ued.

Read Body Language and Emotions

Accord­ing to Sell­ing Pow­er, “The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, 20% of com­mu­ni­ca­tion is strict­ly facts and 80% is emo­tion.” So, what else is your client telling you while they’re speaking?re they talk­ing in hur­ried tones and keep­ing their arms tucked near their tor­so which indi­cates ner­vous­ness? Are they smil­ing and ges­tur­ing fre­quent­ly, thus express­ing gen­uine hap­pi­ness? Or, while you’re speak­ing, are they act­ing bored, loung­ing in their seat and look­ing around the room? Words only say so much. Body lan­guage and how the words are deliv­ered say so much more about the client’s true emo­tions.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Ana­lyst, spe­cial­iz­ing in audi­ence intel­li­gence, at Sales­Fu­el. She also helps to main­tain the major accounts and co-op intel­li­gence data­bas­es. As the hold­er of a Bach­e­lors degree in Eng­lish from The Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, Rachel helps the rest of the Sales­Fu­el team with their writ­ing needs.