It’s a Sale, Not a Soapbox

When has a signed contract come from a salesperson’s monologue?

It seems to make common sense. To know how best to approach a prospect, and how to highlight the service or product a salesperson is selling, that a salesperson ought to be doing the most listening. Prospects should always talk the most. The more and more a prospect talks, the more a salesperson will be able to determine if a sale is possible.

Yet, as many in sales know, this rarely happens. Think of the rambling salesman, running around a car with a potential customer pointing at all the bells and whistles, voice excited with little breath between words. The potential customer quickly becomes someone who will never enter the dealership again. Why? The salesman went on and on, on his soapbox, saying things about features the customer didn’t care about. The potential customer only thinks how this salesman doesn’t even seem to understand why they are there. So, just like that, the sale is gone.

It is one thing merely to speed through points – Someone could read those points online. Instead, through investing heavily in listening to a prospect, a salesperson can then figure out how to get specific points across that fall in line with the prospects thoughts, to stimulate beneficial conversation. “So, ___ seems of concern to you. Now, some in the past I’ve spoken with have also shared this, and found through ____ and ___, that ____ occurred. What do you feel about this?” Suggesting something, not pitching it in a slammed speech, and opening the talk further with an open question…This, is active listening with only a little talking! Talk a little, listen a lot, and improve odds of increasing sales.

Takeaway: Open minds with open-ended questions. What are questions you could ask that would allow things to go deeper in a sales conversation?

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