Getting to Know You

Smiling-Shaking-HandsWhen it comes to sales success, great salespeople are able to listen and respond accordingly.

A bank CEO once told me that when he is hiring a sales person, he chooses the one that is more introverted.  When asked why, his answer was simple:

An extrovert will talk you into a sale, then talk too much and lose the sale.

car-salesmanThough I don’t fully agree with this line of logic, I do understand the general idea.  A classic example is the pushy car salesman.  Most people go to a car lot for to find a car, but get anxious before they even get to the dealership.  The actual thought of dealing with a car salesman, not choosing an automobile, is the hardest mountain to climb for potential car buyers.  Think about that; dealing with the actual person worries people more than spending a lot of money.

How can salespeople come out on the winning side of sales?  One way is for both the salesperson and the buyer to be on the same side and not perceiving the interaction as a battle.  Not only does this mean the salesperson must be working with the buyer, but it also means the salesperson must prove that to the buyer.  By being an active listener, creating a connection and seeking a mutual win a salesperson can build trust and truly help the person buying.

Active Listening

Sounds easy, but people have trouble doing this.  Active listening is not just sitting back and nodding your head; it requires asking the right questions and staying focused.

  • Ask Open Ended Questions: Don’t just ask questions that result in either yes or no; ask questions that require real answers.  Another term for this is probing questions. The questions are based off the previous answer, which requires the person asking the question to pay attention to what is being said.  The goal is to get your buyer to really think about what they need and helps the seller understand what the buyer wants.
  • Listen and Learn: Focus on what is being said.  Take mental notes and don’t make assumptions.  For example, if the buyer states what they don’t like, find out what they do like.

Create a Connection

People do business with people they like.  Concentrating on closing the deal is good, but don’t make that the only thing you think about when dealing with a buyer.

  • Find Common Ground: Is there a certain interest you have with the buyer?  It can be as simple as liking the same color or rooting for the same football team.  By creating a common connection you are engaging a positive emotional element to the sales experience.
  • Don’t Prejudge: The hard part is not to be so determined to sale one particular product or service.  Come into this with an open mind and you may find out there are several products and/or services a buyer may need or want.

Mutual Win

You want what’s best for you and your business.  You also want what’s best for the buyer.  Why?

  • Making the sale: It’s the obvious answer.
  • Referrals: Good salespeople make the sale; great salespeople not only get the sale, but create a relationship that will result in more business.

So, when it comes to sales, are you good or are you great?


About Jeremy M. Price
For twelve years, I had the pleasure of working in community banking. Starting in customer service, I worked my way up to a senior level marketing and human resources director. It was great leading teams that improved strategic initiatives including, but not limited to brand awareness, digital communication, employee development and product development. This experience has now led to an exciting role with CRS Data. As the Product Marketing Analyst, I am currently reviewing the company's banker suite product. This product is able to help community banks reach their fullest potential in real estate lending. I am extremely fortunate to share time with my son while enjoying life in East Tennessee. The two of us enjoy the views of the Smokey Mountains, eating good food and having fun. During my free time, I enjoy running races, traveling and listening to great live music.

2 Responses to Getting to Know You

  1. samtheone says:

    completely support the idea..people dont want to get into sales and returning home with regrets..when this happens there is only loss of future business from them

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