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3 Tips to Help Us Hear What We Should Hear in Sales

3 Tips to Help Us Hear What We Should Hear in Sales - SalesLatitude

3 Tips to Help Us Hear What We Should Hear in Sales - SalesLatitudeAs sales people, we all know we should be listening more than speaking. Our job is to ask those open-ended questions that will fill in the gaps of our knowledge about the customer, their goals, priorities, requirements and risk tolerances. The more questions we ask, the more we will have to listen to what they tell us. However, there are times when we don’t hear what we should hear in sales.

Sometimes we don’t hear what we should hear in sales situations because:

  • We are already thinking of our next question
  • We only want to hear what we want to hear
  • We pepper our past experiences onto what we believe we hear
  • We miss the context
  • We miss details amidst everything being discussed
  • We take facts for granted without asking additional questions of understanding
  • We know something makes no sense, but we’re embarrassed to point it out

That reminded me of a funny Broadway play I recently saw, “Something Rotten.” Actually, it was very silly but “laugh out loud” funny. Set in 1595, it’s the story of two brothers who struggle to find success in the theatrical world as they compete with the wild popularity of their contemporary, William Shakespeare. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater will involve singing, dancing and acting at the same time, the brothers set out to write the world’s very first musical called “Omelette” – which, by the way, is a misreading of “Hamlet.”

But no one questions that this may not be correct.

How many times have you been in discussions with someone and they say something that you hear loud and clear, but it does not make sense and you just let it go since you don’t want to embarrass yourself? Then you go back to the office and realize that you should have asked more questions? You were listening, but the opportunity just passed you by.

Here are 3 tips to help us hear what we should hear in sales:

1. Prep for your meeting – Most people do call reports after a call or meeting, but only some prepare in advance. If you prepare in advance and write down the questions you want to ask, then it will give you more of an opportunity to listen. You most likely will ask other questions depending on how they respond, but it leaves you more apt to be an active participant in the conversation.

2. Bring along another resource – Having another set of ears is always helpful since each of you will hear things differently based on your past experiences. But make sure the person you bring is someone who has a specific role in that meeting.

3. Maximize your time with your customer – If something does not make sense, then say so and ask a question. You may not have another chance to get in front of this busy customer again, so you want to ensure that you leave the call or meeting with as much information as possible.

Your listening skills are probably better than mistaking “Omelette” for “Hamlet,” but would you have embarrassed yourself and asked? Only you would know. When we hear what we should hear in sales, we’re much more informed and tuned in to the customer’s needs, priorities and goals.

 

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter

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