Selling efficiency is a two-way street: You can’t just bombard your prospect with a sales pitch or a speech about all the benefits of your product or service without listening… and listening well. A smart sales professional prepares responses to all possible objections and listens carefully to his or her prospect. Here are seven things to keep in mind in order to listen actively:
- Always allow speakers to complete sentences. If you want someone’s respect, don’t interrupt them.
- Listen to understand, not to know when it’s your turn to talk. Your prospect will know if you’re passively listening, and that doesn’t make for a trusting relationship.
- Acknowledge what the speaker said and incorporate it into your response. This proves that you’re listening and comprehending. Also, use listening noises such as “I see” to affirm that you’re actively engaged in what they are saying.
- Look at the person who is speaking and don’t get distracted. It’s disrespectful to take your focus off the prospect and it gives the impression that you have more important things to do.
- Be patient and calm while listening. You’re not going to close a sale if you overwhelm or stress out your prospect.
- Take notes while someone else is speaking (but be sure to look up at the speaker from time to time). This shows that you value what they are saying.
- And finally, always listen with an open mind.