Good sales performance = Superior listening
The fundamental reason for business is sales….which is revenue….which is why business exists.
While the sales function may vary….listening is a key component of that function even if it is only the McDonald’s counter person taking an order.
For many other businesses…..listening is even more critical. Often consultants think they have all the answers….so little time is spent in listening to what the client really needs or wants.
In our business….we were very careful not to unsell the sale. That is stop the selling process and listen to the customer….more often or not they would tell when the sale was completed.
A favorite story is of Ray….he was the senior salesperson in his group. The younger sales associates would pounce on the customer….begin their sales pitch….make or not make the sale….than latch onto the next customer.
Ray took a different tack….with each customer he took time to get to know them….what was their name….where they lived….who they worked for. After 20 minutes or so of getting acquainted….he than asked what he could do for them. The selling process was basically completed and it was just a matter of finding the right product (s) and delivery date.
Ray took the time to listen. It may have taken him twice as long with each customer….yet many times he made twice the sales as the younger associates….all because he was a superior listener.