If you find that your sales are declining because of fewer prospects and return customers, isn’t it important to make sure you get the most out of each interaction.
As a customer, I would appreciate sales people slowing down and focusing more on listening to my needs, rather than placing more pressure on me to buy because they themselves are under pressure.
Lisa Haneberg, in her book, Focus Like A Laser Beam, introduced me to the term, “extreme listening.” In this context the term refers to intense focus on what your customer is saying, blocking out everything else including your own needs.
I understand that you may feel pressured to make the sale. My best friend, Craig, just saw his sales job disappear when his company declared bankruptcy.
But don’t “speed up.” Slow down.
Practice extreme listening and focus like a laser beam on the customer’s needs.
“Are there opportunities here to up-sell or cross-sell (that meet or exceed your customer’s needs, not your own.)?
- Do I want this customer to return?
- What must I do now to encourage that?”
After your sales call is finished, regardless of the outcome, evaluate yourself. Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I like about what happened?
- What do I want to do differently next time?
- What obstacles did I face?
- What additional resources do I need?
- Did I meet/exceed the customer’s needs?
- Can a relationship be created, and how will my employer and I increase the chances of it succeeding?
If you practice continuous improvement in your sales calls, your closing ratio should improve and that can offset the loss of other business.
get’em listen to ‘em!