“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
Stephen R. Covey
We live in a world of attention deficit disorder. No one has the time to listen.
To all those in sales and sales management (you allow it to happen) – you’re suffering from a listening crisis. Why? Because all of you seem to think you know all the answers and you can’t wait to spew out why you’re better than your competition.
How many sales reps are patient enough to sit back, ask questions and then really listen?
One of the most powerful things a sales professional can do is listen. However, most sales people listen to sell and then immediately jump into sales pitch mode the moment they uncover a pain point.
“What would it look like if we simply listened to learn about our prospect’s business?”
Listening to learn… I believe this drives trust while also allowing you to discover the full scope of the client’s goals, dreams, challenges, and business drivers.
TALK LESS, CONNECT MORE
Listening with the intent to learn is the cornerstone of a selling from the heart professional. They understand talking is not really giving. It may feel like giving to a sales rep but it isn’t.
Effective listening begins with the intent to understand.
Most sales reps love talking about themselves. They love spewing their product knowledge as well as the features and benefits of their service. In actuality, they’re puking all over themselves as they stick to what they know rather than engaging in a real conversation by asking great questions.
To truly connect means listening with your heart. To listen attentively means one must be truly present. You can’t be present by listening for ques to spew sales crap all over the place. I get you hear with your ears but a sales professional will listen to people with their hearts.
LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART
A selling from the heart sales professional realizes a heartfelt connection leads to a heartfelt conversation.
“We hear through our ears, but we listen through our minds.”
Something magical happens when sales reps set aside their “sales bravado” to become engaged in a real, genuine and heartfelt business conversation. Yes, this means placing your clients and prospects front and center in your conversation.
Heartfelt conversations allow sales professionals to emotionally connect with their clients and prospects. This allows them to have intellectual discussions that lead to exciting new discoveries and the personal sharing of information.
I get it, we live and operate in a fast-paced world. The onslaught of technology has provided salespeople with new ways of communicating, however; it’s put a damper on the personal interaction and ones natural ability to interact and listen with their hearts.
Listening with your heart means giving your full attention to your clients and prospects by allowing them to express their feelings, their concerns and their issues in a way that is heard and understood.
Check out our latest Selling From The Heart podcast as we discuss “Listening to Learn”
HEARTFELT QUESTIONS LEAD TO HEARTFELT ANSWERS
What do think would happen to revenue growth if sales reps learned to ask different and better questions?
A selling from the heart professional rolls up their sleeves and tugs on the heart strings of their clients. They learn how to ask great, sometimes tough and timely questions in order to get their clients or prospects to share their problems, challenges, strategies and plans. This may even entail the sharing of information about their company and their job.
Leading a conversation around asking great questions allows a professional to uncover and learn things they may not have previously known. Asking great questions helps executives think about their situation in new ways, ways not yet explored.
This can only happen if you bring your heart to the business table, you’re comfortable in your own sales skin, you have strong business acumen and you have thrown yourself in their shoes. Simply stated, “You give a rip!”
Phrase questions that may challenge the way things are currently being done, ask questions to highlight the consequences of not addressing fixing the problem and ask questions to earn respect and credibility.
The power behind all of this lies in the answers you receive as this is directly correlates to the questions you ask.
A selling from the heart professional starts by asking themselves, “How can I ask questions to get the best from myself and those I’m speaking with?”
All too often, sales reps place their focus on sprinting to identify actionable solutions by listening for one that ‘thing’, that ‘one issue’ and ‘BOOM’ they go right into pitch mode. A heartfelt professional takes the time to ask great questions, listens with intent to get people to share their thoughts and feelings en route to identifying actionable solutions.
They understand racing to a solution is not a wise move. Why?
- Conversation builds trust
- Conversation facilitates alignment
- Conversation improves engagement
When sales reps can learn how to get out of their own way by starting to ask great questions, actively starting to listen and facilitate a business conversation; they will start to learn more and earn more.
I wonder how many of sales reps are capable of making the transition. Are you a selling from the heart professional or just another braggadocios sales rep?