Given the exact same number and quality of leads, what separates the sales reps who close the most deals, from the lesser-performing reps? Listen up. Here are three essential things that will separate a salesperson from 90% of the competition:
- Shut up. If you are speaking with a prospect, never talk when they are talking. Even if they interrupt you. I don’t care if you know the answer before they finish, they are incorrect with what they are saying, or any other reason. Hold your tongue. To me, this is the biggest mistake salespeople make. They can’t stop talking.
- Actively listen. This is similar to the point above because you are not talking. However, here (on the phone) you are listening with pen and paper, so they do not hear clicking on the keyboard. You want to capture what is important to them, so you can refer back to it. Forget what is important to you or what you think is important about your product or service. Really listen to the answers to your questions, and then apply how your product addresses what’s important to them. For this to work, you need to be fluent in your products’ benefits.
- Find a system that works for you and stick with it. Your company may have an established cadence. If so, hopefully, it’s based on success and historical data. That would be a good place to start. It’s also good for your career advancement at the company! Also, research your past wins and look for patterns: the number of calls, the title of the prospect, and areas of customer importance are good places to start. The key is to find what works and make it a repeatable process.
Sales Homework – Listening can be learned. There are a lot of really good books out now that will help you. Buy a couple and start reading.
Sales Managers – Practice active listening while you role play with your team. Change up the dialogue to make sure they are really listening and paying attention. If you’re a sales manager and build a team of good listeners, your life will be very rewarding.
A B2B Sales Cadence to get more, and better, meetings – Check it out here