Listening is the key: This is why active listening improves you

  • There are customer dialogues that simply work out from the start – you and your customer are on the same page and that is enough to close the sale. But sometimes strange things happen. For instance, the chemistry seems to be right at first, but then the customer gives you a skeptical facial expression and withdraws from the conversation. If you, as a salesperson, are familiar with those situations, you should start to listen more attentively. Active listening is an essential tool to help you better understand the true motives of your customers.  
     
    Active listening is the silver bullet to sales success  
     
    There are plenty of reasons why sales talks may fail, but a common one is the lack of empathy. If a salesman lacks the ability to cognitively put himself in someone else’s shoes and therefore understand his or her motives and actions – the customer might feel misunderstood and consequently should have less trust in the offered solution or product. So, what can we do to create more connectivity and trust? Follow the 3 rules of active listening:
     
    1. Open and interested listening improves the relationship between you and your customer!
    Maybe it happened to you: You had a conversation with someone who talked all the time and you almost didn't get a chance to speak. But after the conversation, he or she said: "Man, that was a good talk.” It shows that good listeners – even though they seem to do nothing at all – have a huge effect on their counterparts. But always remember that a good listener stays always present and therefore builds trust with the counterpart.  
     
    2. You have two ears, but only one mouth!
    That means that you should listen twice as much as you speak! Therefore, your customer has to speak – while you need to ask the right questions! Always remember that you can learn details about your customers that might be a basis for your own argumentation. A good preparation is essential for this.  
     
    3. Look at the signs!
    If you actively listen, you have time to read your customer. Apart from plain information you get, active listening provides you with a lot more when you also focus on all the physical signals that you get from your counterpart: Body language, gestures, facial expressions, speech rate, volume, etc. And each of us knows how important it is to include this non-verbal signs.

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