Little did I know… in my early 20’s, people simply wanted to feel heard!
Listening to someone in such a way that they feel heard is a very powerful skill that few know how to effectively pull off.
Who wants to love, talk to or do business with someone that obviously doesn’t know how to listen?
No one! It’s really annoying, especially once you know how to do it. You end up seeing how poor others are at it.
In my 30’s I took this skill of listening, which is actually called “SUPPORT” to the next level and everything seemed to take off in a good way.
Here’s a few tools that I used to hone my craft:
Spending 5 minutes a day in silence helped me re-calibrate my brain and directly increased my ability to listen. I became aware of the subtle nuances in everything around me, especially other people when they were talking.
Practiced Active Eye Contact
Someone once told me that the eyes are the gateway to the soul. The meaning of those words were more clear as I became a better listener. The more I kept eye contact with people the more focused my mind was and the more I cared about what they were saying. It also lets the speaker know I was actually paying attention.
I grew up with Tourettes so this was really hard to do, but worth working on! We all have challenges to work through.
Practiced Letting The Speaker Finish
The worst habit I had to get over was stepping over someone BEFORE they were finished talking. FInishing their sentences for them was considered rude (???) No one likes people who cut them off. It’s annoying and it conveys, “I don’t care what you have to say because what I have to say is more important). It’s disrespectful and it shows that the listener was really just waiting to speak oppose to actually listening.
Early on in my life, I was always so quick to give my response and assume I knew what they were talking about or needing. Try to appreciate the speakers position and thoughts. A great way to show that you heard what they were saying to you is by simply repeating their overall message or last part of their sentence. An easy tool is to ask them what they feel about what they just said (Actually is a very high level tool for letting someone feel heard and understood — try it sometime and you’ll see someone instantly transform).
It may feel a bit awkward or different to start taking notes during a normal everyday conversation with someone, but it’s something that they will greatly appreciate if the conversation is important.
Hope this helps and if you’re looking for more support in communication skills, you could try visiting CoachRanking or the Special Offers page to get some more great free training on it from a specialist.
Prepare. prepare, prepare! As a sales people, we’ve gotta know our product inside-and-out and we’ve gotta BELIEVE IN IT!
Early on in my sales career, I struggled to close deals due to my inability to talk up the product that I was selling. When clients would ask me qualifying questions because they were interested, I would fumble the words and get even more anxious than I was before.
As a transition into our next topic point… we’ve gotta know our prospect and what they need.
Leads are the lifeblood to any business so a considerable amount of time will be spent on your prospect, where they’re at, how to get their attention and what are they thinking.
Depending on the service or product you’re selling, there’s lots of ways to prospect for your perfect customers and clients. Some of the most popular are: Asking for referrals, running social media ads, making online posts, writing blog articles, mailing something to their house or business, cold calling, door knocking and even attending specific events for your industry. Find what’s working best and fine tune the necessary skills!
A neighbor who recently moved into my community put fliers on all the doors inviting me to a FREE yoga class on the upcoming Saturday morning to “get to know everyone”. I thought this was genius, Get clever with it!
BUILDING RAPPORT / NEEDS ASSESSMENT
This is by far one of the most important steps of the sales process. AFTER you introduce yourself, it’s important to warm-up the client and start building some good will. Get to know them a little before you start firing prices and features at them 🙂 Ask good questions that help them arrive at the truth of the matter so they can sell themselves on why they really need your solution. Ask open-ended questions that will position you as the solution and the authority on the topic. The more information they can share with you, the better you can evaluate if they’re a good fit for you or your product. See if you can put the Client needs first!
After the warm-up and the needs assessment comes the pitch. Once we figure out their needs and have identified that we can help them, we make the sales pitch. Remember there should be a decent amount of confidence while pitching. Remember not to give your offer to people that are not qualified, it’s called protecting your offer.
It’s also a great idea to have your pitch rehearsed and polished before presenting it to people. The best pitches are the ones we’ve given a 100 times!
Start your process and pitch with the objections in mind. Are you clear on what your products top 5 objections are? What will your prospect ask you or give you as an excuse? Too much money? Not enough time? Gotta ask some other decision maker?
What’s it all mean? Well, normally that they don’t see the value! You gotta know what’s in it for them and talk that language! We anticipate objections and prepare for them from the beginning. If you do that properly and integrate their big 3 objections into your presentation, the objection period can be used as a process for them to give themselves permission to buy.
In closing… be empathetic and listen closely to your prospects objections. Normally, every objection comes with a built in solution because they will tell you what they really want or need in the objection. Adsorb it and go back to the needs assessment.
You can do it and we believe in you! Feel free to listen to this audio below.