Posted on 11/04/2011
Do you truly listen to your prospects, or are you just telling them what you think they want to hear? When I was young, I was often told that when I grew up I would make a great salesman, because I had the ability to talk anyone into anything. To be honest, I think I just had the ability to talk a lot period! Well, it turns out the most successful sales professionals actually listen about four times more than they speak. Studies have shown that in any sales situation, a great listener will always prevail over a “big talker.” When speaking with my prospects, I get so excited about the great radiant heat products and the many benefits of WarmlyYours, that sometimes I forget this important rule.
So, are YOU a good listener? Most people think they are, but the fact is, the majority of people are not. As it turns out, this is not entirely our fault. In school we are taught how to write, read, and speak. We are never taught how to listen. After school, the first sales training we get is how to deliver a sales pitch, talk about our products’ features and benefits, and rebuttal common consumer objections, all from a script. It’s unfortunate that the most important aspect to your success, listening well, is the one aspect that is focused on the least.
I’d like to share some great tips with you. They will encourage your prospects to talk more, and give you the information you need to sell them WarmlyYours radiant heating products through the art of listening:
These cannot be answered with simple one or two word responses such as “yes” or “no.” Open-ended questions always begin with phrases such as “what,” “how,” “where,” “why,” “when,” “if,” and “tell me.”
Some examples are, “The most popular and most used rooms in your home are the bathroom and kitchen, how can I help you create a more inviting and comfortable living space?” or “What is most important to you in when choosing a floor heating product or brand?” or “What limits you from using your outdoor space year-round?” or “How do you want to use the radiant heat?”
If your prospect stops talking, encourage them to continue. They could be pausing to think, formulating a question of their own, or even waiting for your next question. You can use what is referred to as a “nudging probe.” This technique gives them verbal and non-verbal cues that help spur more conversation.
Some examples of nudging probes are “I see…” “How so?” “Then what?” “I’d love to hear more…” “How else can I help guide you?” and “anything else?”
The majority of people have difficulty remembering the names of those that they’ve just met. Many may excuse this as a memory issue, when in reality most people just simply don’t pay close enough attention. It is important that you tune out all distractions when speaking with your prospect. Stop everything else that you are doing. If you are not completely focused on them, they will pick up on that and it will surely hurt your rapport. And, it will hurt your chances of closing that sale.
In the same regard, you want to ensure that your prospect is also completely focused on you. If your prospect is distracted, it may be in your best interest to reschedule your meeting or phone conversation for a time when they will be more receptive and attentive.
Begin practicing these tips, and watch your WarmlyYours radiant heating sales improve dramatically. Always remember the old adage, “you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.”
You can surely “talk” your prospect out of a sale, but you will never “listen” them out of one.
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