How To Make Listening Your Sales Superpower
Listening? A superpower? Well, maybe it's not as exciting as being faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. But the ability to listen is such a rare skill in both personal and professional relationships that when you get good at it you will become a superhero to your customers, prospects, and colleagues.
As a sales leader, your ability to listen effectively can mean the difference between a successful sale and a missed opportunity. Listening is not just about hearing what a potential customer says,it's an opportunity to understand their needs, wants, and pain points. By improving your listening skills, you can build stronger relationships with customers, uncover new opportunities, and close more deals. Here are six tips on how to improve your listening skills and make them a key part of your sales strategy.
Be present: One of the biggest obstacles to effective listening is distractions, in both your thinking and your environment. It's essential to be fully present in the moment when talking to a customer. Turn off your phone, eliminate distractions, and focus on the conversation. Pay attention to the tone of their voice, their body language, and any nonverbal cues. This will help you pick up on subtle clues that can help you better understand their needs and tailor your pitch accordingly.
Ask open-ended questions: Instead of asking yes or no questions, try to ask open-ended questions that encourage the customer to share more information. This will help you understand their situation better and uncover new opportunities. Examples of open-ended questions include "Can you tell me more about that?" or "How are you currently handling this situation?" or from my own field as a keynote speaker, I always ask the meeting planner who's considering bringing me in "What would a successful outcome look like?"
Listen actively: Active listening is a crucial skill in sales. It involves listening to what the customer is saying and responding in a way that shows you've heard them. Repeat back what they've said to confirm you've understood correctly (but rephrase it so it's not annoying!), and ask follow-up questions to get more info and clarify any confusion. This shows the customer that you're invested in the conversation and interested in their needs.
Empathize with your customer: Empathy is an essential part of effective listening. Put yourself in the customer's shoes and try to understand their perspective. This will help you build a stronger connection with them and build trust. When you empathize with your customer, you're better equipped to provide solutions that meet their needs.
Take notes: Taking notes during the conversation shows the customer that you're engaged and interested in what they have to say. It also helps you remember key details about the conversation and any follow-up action items. When you follow up with the customer, reference your notes to show that you were paying attention to their needs.
Follow up: Following up with the customer after the conversation is critical. Send them a personalized email or message thanking them for their time, summarizing the key points of the conversation, and outlining any next steps. This shows the customer that you value their time and are committed to meeting their needs.
In conclusion, listening really can become your sales superpower when you practice these six tips and make them a part of your sales process. Listening is essential for building strong relationships with customers and will absolutely lead to closing more deals.
By being present, asking open-ended questions, actively listening, empathizing with your customer, taking notes, and following up, you can improve your listening skills and be in a better position to provide solutions that meet your customer's needs. Incorporate these tips into your sales strategy to become a better listener and achieve greater sales success.
Joshua Seth is a celebrity voice actor, turned communication skills keynote speaker.
His mission is to help sales leaders speak with influence, communicate with confidence, and connect with people.
Joshua's known to millions as the voice of over 100 animated TV shows and movies, and can be heard in everything from Akira to Spongebob Squarepants. But he’s best known as the star of Digimon, voicing the main character Tai for the past 20 years in both the hit TV series and all 8 movies, helping it become the 75th highest grossing media franchise in the world.
Joshua has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches and presentations over the past 10 years for many of the world's top companies and professional organizations.
For information on Joshua’s keynote speeches and workshops visit www.joshuaseth.com