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How to Listen for a Good Sale

Dec 7, 2007
Being effective in sales is much more than a good product and advertising. Salesmanship includes the art of listening. While most people have the ability to hear, very few individuals practice really listening. So if you want to be effective in sales, and surpass the competition, consider the following four talents of a good listener:

1. Body Language

As soon as you begin talking to a customer, a salesperson, listening for a good sale, will notice body language. Within 8 seconds, you will see whether the consumer is receptive to your sales approach, or uncomfortable with the whole situation.

If the customer seems relaxed and willing to listen, you are welcome to continue. However, fidgeting, change in skin tone, lack of eye contact, and facial expressions are clues to stop, back off, or try a different tactic. You do not want to be a pushy salesperson. Instead, you want to foster a feeling of trust, empathy for the consumer, and knowledge of your product or service.

2. Attention Span

Normally, your customer will have a short attention span. He/she does not have all day, and has probably come to you with an idea of what is needed. You only have a few seconds to grab the consumer's attention. First impressions can make or break a sale.

Likewise, if you are marketing a product or service to an audience, it you get long-winded, you will lose the sale, regardless of your product or service quality. Interjecting antidotes, jokes and other material will gain you more effective listening time for the information that really matters.

3. Language Barriers

Language barriers can definitely be a problem. If you want to make the sale, you will need to be aware of cultural differences. Today, our communities are comprised of individuals from around the world and different walks of life. Understanding and listening to the differences will help you to avoid slang, colloquialisms, and pronunciations that will only add confusion to the dialogue. Speak distinctly and clearly. Do not talk down to the customer, but slow down your speech just enough to account for the barrier. HSBC Bank are very big on this in their current TV ads.

4. Give Undivided Attention

You are in a conversation and the other person is talking. Are you really listening, or are you already developing an answer in your head. Be honest! We all do it! The biggest problem associated with effective listening is not giving the other person your undivided attention.

If you really want to learn how to listen for a good sale, forget about making the sale and give your customer or client you undivided attention. Listen totally. Then, when you know what you customer or client desires, formulate your response.

If you want to be effective at sales and marketing, you must know what your customer wants. Your business is built around satisfying those needs or wants with your product or service. Thus, if you practice good listening skills, you will be able to maintain a mutually profitable relationship with your clientele.
About the Author
Paul Sutherland is an Accelerated Business Growth Coach. His company - Daniel Thomas International - www.dti.eu.com helps corporate and SMEs to grow their businesses with tried tested and proven techniques and strategies, increasing their bottom line profits in 90 days or less?

Pick up a FREE copy of "The 7 Big Mistakes" report when you visit the site and request a FREE 45 minute consultation.
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