I’m excited to embark on yet another MNA annual convention filled with speakers and sessions to educate and motivate us all. It has also proven time and again to be the perfect opportunity to practice what I believe to be the most important (and most difficult) sales skill there is: Active Listening.
Throughout the sales cycle, prospects will continually drop clues as to what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling about you and your products or services. In other words, they’re telling you exactly what you need to know to close the sale.
Five Opportunities to Use Active Listening Skills:
- To understand the other person’s point of view
- To avoid the tendency to evaluate
- To avoid making assumptions
- To get the speaker to be more specific
- To clarify the message
Unfortunately, as salespeople, our natural instinct is to talk. We spew on about features and benefits and value propositions…sometimes missing obvious signals from our clients about what’s most important to them simply because we’re failing to listen. And by not paying attention, we’re making our job much harder than it needs to be.
Five Traits of a Good Listener:
- Always makes friendly eye contact throughout the conversation
- Always pays attention to the words, expressions & body language of the speaker
- Always uses verbal phrases such as “I see” or “Tell me more” to encourage dialogue
- Always summarizes the discussion to bring the conversation to closure
- Never interrupts the speaker
As you enjoy reconnecting with long time newspaper colleagues from around the state while forming new relationships with fresh faces, remember that using Active Listening skills show that you’re fully engaged in the conversation. It lets the other person know that you’re interested and that you care about what they’re saying.
Have a wonderful time at the 147th annual MNA Newspaper Convention. I look forward to seeing you there!
If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at (612) 278-0223 or firstname.lastname@example.org