I was recently asked at a presentation for quality professionals “What are the characteristics of a successful salesperson?” There were some people who thought being successful in sales meant that you had to have the gift of gab.
I sad, “That’s the biggest misconception about selling.” The most successful salespeople (by far) have the skill of being a good listener. Listening skills contributes to their sales ability and sales success.
Here’s why I say that. Being a good listener means that you can focus on someone else, not yourself. Great salespeople need to be customer focused. That’s how they hear what a customer means. They can read the nonverbal which in communication gives far more meaning than the words. Words are the verbal.
Examples of the nonverbal clues are nodding, smiling, making eye contact, body position, scowls, and crossed arms. All must be read in context of the sales situation. Watch for changes in behavior to read your customer’s nonverbal communication.
Good listeners also ask for clarification. When a customer says, “I need the order fast.” The good listener responds with, “When you say fast, what do you mean?” Then when the customer says, “Next week will be fine,” the salesperson doesn’t have to jump through hoops making the delivery happen the next day because the salesperson thinks that’s what the customer meant.
Maybe this week you’ll focus on your listening skills so you can increase your sales!
Best wishes for your sales success.