In a time when we, as business owners, expect higher productivity and better results, it’s easy for a sales person to fly right into a selling spree without first getting to know the client or what they might want or need. Often a business owner will feel attacked by a sales person who hasn’t taken the time to listen first to what they to say. According to YP Talk, there are some ways to improve your listening skills and learn what the customers have to say:
- Get Ready to Listen. Check your personal issues at the door, be attentive and concentrate on hearing that the customer has to say.
- Start with a set of probing questions. Ask good questions then wait for the answer. It’s not just being polite, it shows respect.
- Replay back what you hear. This technique makes sure that you are tuned in and listening. It also confirms what you thought you hears.
- Show some empathy. When you hear of any difficulties the business may be having acknowledge how difficult it must be for them. Responding to human issues can help build a relationship with the business owner.
- Don’t shy away from showing humor. A little humor enhances what may be a serious or negative situation. Have a non-sarcastic, lighter moment with them.
- Note non-verbal communication clues. This can be a facial expression, tone of voice, body gestures and more. These can all be telling symptoms for that the customer is thinking.
- Know the value of silence. A brief period of silence is ok and will generally cause whomever speaks next to produce a more quality, in-depth response. It also allows both of you to process what’s been said, to ask additional questions, seek further clarification, or provide even more information.
As YP Talk puts it, take time to care, take time to listen, take the time to complete the sale.