On every sales call, make sure you bring up at least one item the customer shared with you on the previous call. This demonstrates that you listen closely.
Salespeople are already struggling anytime they’re talking to a customer or a prospect because of all the preconceived notions that so many people have regarding salespeople. Too many people believe salespeople don’t listen and that the only thing they’re into is their own personal desire to sell something.
The best way to overcome this is by showing the customer you’re different and you listen. Problem is too many salespeople don’t start listening to the customer until after they’ve either already bought something or on the verge of buying something.
The time to start listening is truly at the beginning. You do this by using each and every comment the customer makes to you as a potential follow-up question. This really comes into play if you’re involved in a long sales cycle, where there are a number of sales calls either on the telephone, via email, or in person.
Use each communication as an opportunity to ask the person a follow-up question regarding something they told you in the previous discussion. If you can’t come up with a question, you should at least reference something from an earlier call or something shared very early in your current call.
By doing this, you’re accomplishing several things. First, you’re finding out additional insights about the customer by getting them to build on something they shared with you earlier. Second, (and I believe more important) is the customer will begin to see your listening skills in action. This helps them to begin to have confidence in you. Ultimately it’s the confidence the customer has in you that will determine if they buy from you.
So, are you really listening? Only you and your customer know. Your sales motivation and sales success will reflect it.