Developing 20/20 Hearing: A Skill That Can Boost Sales

Successful salespeople are better listeners than talkers. Instead of talking about how valuable they are, they carefully listen for how they can be of value. Here are three steps to help salespeople develop “20/20” hearing: 

1. Tune in totally. Before meeting, decide to listen 80% of the time and talk only 20% of the time. Then prepare a list of questions to ask, encouraging the customer to continue talking. 

2. Take good notes. Get salespeople to imagine that they have to give a detailed briefing of what the customer said to the president of the company. This will capture specific details for later review and force salespeople to concentrate more intensely. And asking permission to take notes sends a signal to the customer that they are important. 

3. Confirm understanding. Always paraphrase or summarize what was said. It not only sends a signal to the customer that what they are saying is important but also prevents you from finding solutions to problems that are low in priority or nonexistent. 

Better salespeople get that with more listening, instead of more talking, they'll bring in more business.

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