To earn your customers you must listen to them. Market research states the best sales rep speak only 30% of the time but listen 70%. This is only possible through good questioning, probing, and keeping quiet while you give your customer time to respond. How much talking are you doing in your customer interactions? Listening helps you solve problems your customers care about. One story is when I was selling copiers to a large graphic arts firm. The rep demoed their product and positioned it against mine on how it could print on 12×18 paper. They printed color on big sheets of paper to prove they could print on some of the largest format. However, this was never a requirement for the customer. I focused on the customer to listen to and understand their needs. Guess What? I got the deal. Most of us have been educated in reading, writing, and arithmetic, but have ay of us taken a listening course? Below are some quick tips to put your best foot forward with your customers. Do’s of Listening
- Take Notes– This will show others that you are paying attention and will help you take down pertinent information to follow-up with.
- Don’t finish other people’s sentences
- Ask clarifying questions every once in a while to make sure you understand.
- Nod Your Head and lean into the person speaking to show interest.
- Recap and have a followup plan of action
- Read body language.
Dont’s of Listening
- Look at your watch
- Stand up before they are done talking
- Start thinking about what you are going to say next
- Stare somewhere else besides at the person who is speaking
How to Measure
- You don’t want to hear “As I previously stated”
- Ask a question they already answered
- Other party’s body language
- You understand what they are saying by having great responses, feedback, and questions.
Let me know what you thought by commenting below. Do you have any funny stories about some bad listeners out there? Picture Credit