What comes to mind when you think of the traits that salespeople need to be successful? Maybe it’s being a clear communicator, or strategic thinker. Some might say being a good listener. You need all of them. Most people forget that a very useful selling trait is being curious.
I talk about the importance of curiosity in one of my presentations about what traits make a salesperson successful. Could you imagine a successful salesperson without being curious? I couldn’t.
When you should be curious?
Too many sales professionals hear an answer from a prospect and stop with that answer. They don’t ask more questions. One of the most important reasons that you need to be curious is when your customers says something and you are unaware of why they think the way they do. You need to be curious enough to ask why.
You often learn so much more about their current situation and what motivates them to change that situation when you hear the answer. The answer gives you guidance in developing your sales strategy. It also makes the strategy more effective.
When you learn why a customer thinks the way he does, you get to reference it in your solution. A customer won’t argue with his own ideas. You can’t use the information unless you’re curious enough to ask and learn why.
Are you curious about how they think?
Here’s what I’m curious about when I sell. I want to know why my prospects picked their current supplier, what their current situation means to them, what their goals are for their future and much, much more.
Do you see why being curious gives you a wealth of information that you can use to fit your products and services into a great solution for your prospects?
Stop and think about your prospects and what you would like to know about them. Write your questions. Then remember to ask them the next time you make a sales call. After you hear the answers, consider what you can do with that information.
What products could address the concerns you hear? Ask how not changing their current situation will impact them or their department if you didn’t hear their concerns.
Are you curious about how they could impact your business?
All prospects are not equal. Some have greater potential than others simply because the person you are working with has more motivation to change or has a more urgent problem now. Think about the potential of your prospect as you’re discussing their business. By wondering where and how they fit into your business, you will also ask different questions to clarify how you should work with them and deliver what they need.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” She was absolutely right if that child will grow up to become a sales professional.