At the end of the day, being successful at sales boils down to excellent communication skills. Even if you know the product backwards and forwards, you need to be able to effectively showcase that to the client. You also need to build a business relationship and trust with the client, which can best be achieved through solid communication. If you think your communications skills could use a little pick me up, here are a few tips from HubSpot’s Leslie Ye.
The first step in good communication is to listen. We live in a world today where we don't listen for the sake of listening. You need to give your clients your full attention when they talk. Don’t think of how you’ll respond until you’ve heard the entirety of what your client has to say. Otherwise, you may end up repeating a point they brought up or say something that doesn’t address everything they brought up.
Communication extends beyond just what words are being spoken. It also includes tone and body language. Pay attention to both when your client speaks. Are they speaking quickly without taking many breaths? Are their eyes darting around, or are they running their hands through their hair a lot? Regardless of what they may be saying to you, their body language and tonality are betraying that they’re stressed. Picking up on these sometimes subtle communication forms will help you know how to respond to your clients as well as show you what your body language and tone should be to balance theirs out.
Don’t be a Know-It-All
No matter how much research you do or how long of a business relationship you may have had with your client, you will never know all there is about their needs or feelings. They change every day. You need to go into each conversation with a client full of questions for them and a willingness to listen to what they have to say. If you don’t, you’re going to end up talking at them instead of with them, and that won’t make them feel very good about you or the situation at hand at all.
Don’t be a Pest
Sometimes, both clients and prospective clients won’t be responsive. When this happens, do not spam their inbox and answering machines with the same message over and over again. Ye recommends that you, “start fresh with a new headline and an easier call to action. Once you reengage them, steer the conversation back to business.” There’s a fine line between being thorough and annoyingly relentless. Do not cross that line.
Silence is Okay
Your clients will need time to think over things you have said or offers you have made to them. Do not try to fill the silence they need in order to think with sentences that aren't necessarily relevant in that moment. Let them think, and take a breather yourself. Silence is part of conversation.