Sales Thought: Strategic Listening – A sales skill that separates good from GREAT sales people

Great sales people are Strategic Listeners. They work hard to be viewed in a strategic light.

They ask great in-depth questions about the customer’s problems and needs.
They demonstrate knowledge about the customer’s business via the quality (not quantity) of the questions they ask.

Great sales people are focused on learning by first asking questions about the customer’s business. This is not about using the same list of questions for every customer. It is about…

• Doing advance research.
• Determining the customer’s most current list of strategic projects.
• Asking clarifying questions about those projects.

And above All, Listening.  Too Many Sellers spend their time dominating the conversation.  Great Sellers spend more time listening and learning and not pushing their product or Service.

Ask enough questions to get strategic knowledge so you can explain how what you sell can help the customer BETTER achieve their Strategic Goals. In short, your motive is to help improve the customer’s understanding and effectiveness by explaining their problems and needs to you.

By asking clarifying questions, you help the buyer perceive you as having a level of respect and understanding that is, unfortunately, all too rare in sales professionals today.

By NOT talking about the product you sell, you will create an interested buyer.

By taking a consultative approach from the start, you lead customers to respect you and what you are trying to accomplish. In most cases, customers will want you to keep asking questions because this helps them clarify the issues they are facing for themselves. It is a unique customer that will not be happy to answer strategic questions focused on understanding of their business issues.

Or, you can just keep pushing your product or service.  If you are SO convinced that your’s is that much better, you can Push It At Your Buyer.  While Outdated, so many sellers are inundated with Product/Service Information, they feel compelled to share it.

I suggest you not do it.  It will help you in the long run be a more Strategic Seller.

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