To be successful in salesmanship, years ago, it might have been a required personality trait to have “the gift of gab.” Thinking fast on one’s feet and countering any and all objectives was a pre-requisite for closing more deals.
Sales Managers would give candidates tests to determine whether they were extroverts. Those were the days of stealthy expense accounts, memberships in exclusive golf clubs, client gifts and high-end dinner invitations.
Those might have been the days, but those definitely “were” the days. Today’s consummate sales professional plays by an entirely different set of rules if a win-win relationship has any place in your future.
In an attempt to simplify today’s message, I would like to share my four-word sales plan with you. First, I will tell you what it is not. It is not, “Keep right on talking.”
It is not, “Wax eloquent to impress.” It is not, “I’m smarter than you.”
To become successful in sales today the only four words you have to imbue in your subconscious are: “Get other people talking.” As elementary as my advice may sound, if you stop to think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. Most people like the sound of their own voice. Most people think they are pretty smart. Most people enjoy answering questions feeling they are in control of the conversation.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to fuel your prospects need to speak by providing them with ample opportunities to do so. But asking questions is just half the battle. Next comes the important part. Listen to what is being said.
Listening is a learned skill. Most people just wait for a pause in the conversation to jump in with their brilliant contributions. Their hearing is okay, but they do not listen. Once your prospect or client starts talking, it is in your best interest to keep them talking by asking meaningful follow-up questions.
Here is another factoid worth internalizing. You already know what you already know. When you are talking, you’re not learning anything new. And, sooner or later, as long as you keep people talking you will learn everything you need to know to establish a meaningful relationship. Listen more… talk less.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.