Selling: Art of Listening

Transition from "gift of gab" to the art of listening...

Years ago, the sales function went to that character that everybody liked, usually, he/she was "good with people". Translated today to mean a good talker, schmoozer, everyone's buddy etc.

This was the individual that was entrusted to build relationships, take clients out, golf, entertain.. And years ago this worked fine. The world was less complex, sales cycles were short, & orders were a mere paper napkin.

Obviously today we operate in much more sophisticated business climate. Sales cycles are now many months long, executives are under extreme pressure to deliver projections & although relationships are still important, driving the numbers is the end game.

We usually get 20 minutes today, whereas in the past our sales meeting might last 2-3 hours, followed by lunch & possibly a night out. It is much more important today to use those valuable minutes to listen rather than talk. Listen for an issue or problem effecting the client. Their problem is your opportunity to sell. Late delivery from another vendor, pricing issues with a product, margin concerns etc. are all potential opportunities.

Today, the sales game has changed. Listening is more likely to yield positive results than talking.