On today’s episode, we welcomed Michael Reddington, a certified forensic interviewer and President of InQuasive, Inc. His company integrates components of effective interview techniques with current business research to show others how to use the truth to their advantage. The topic for today? Why listening is critical to sales.
Why is listening important?
- Humans aren’t meant to be good listeners. It’s difficult for us to sideline our egos and focus on the goal instead of the people while in conversation.
- Because it can be a rarity, actively listening while in the sales environment (or any environment) can be the differentiator between you and your competitors.
Key steps to listening:
- Limit variables during an interaction. There can be distractions in your mind and environment that prevent you from listening.
- Have a good plan going into the conversation. This can limit distractions and result in more efficient and positive discussions.
Michael’s three points to enhance listening:
- Have a plan – Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t. Limit your own internal monologue to focus on the conversation at hand.
- Be patient and let the conversation come to you – When people are stressed, they tend to fall back on what they know. For sales situations, this is likely your product or service. Dominating the conversation in this manner can result in turning a prospect off the sale.
- Listen for intelligence, not information – The traditional sales methodology was to listen for specific pain points and use those points to place a prospect in a particular box. However, this method ignores the nuances of the sales situation. The reasoning behind a motivation is just as, if not more, important than the motivation itself.
How can you use listening to differentiate yourself in the market?
- Research shows that only about 14% of the factors we believe to be differentiated are actually different in the market. So, how can you stand out?
- Prospects often expect a salesperson to sell their product, not provide value.
- When interacting with a prospect, think about how you can provide a clear value to them. Not only will this surprise them, but the unsolicited nature of the value opens the door for more robust communication.
- Teaching is the most essential part of selling.
Michael’s main takeaway? Let the conversation come to you.