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Don’t Bother Asking… without LISTENING

Most salespeople understand that asking questions is important. What’s interesting, is most don’t realize that listening to the answers is even more critical!
In the sales training I do, I’ve been asking since around 2005 how many people have taken a class in listening. Here we are in 2023 and I don’t even have affirmative answers that average one a year (even though I count the two music majors who had taken listening classes for that).
Plus if we ask buyers, what their biggest complaint is about salespeople, I’ve seen studies that show “not listening” number one.
Here are some reasons why people in general… and inside salespeople, in particular, don’t listen:

  • Not wanting to know the answer
  • To busy thinking about what they’re going to say next
  • It takes considerable mental effort to listen
  • You have to slow down the pace to really listen
  • Something comes in via IM or email that distracts them

Next time you’re in a conversation:

  • Suspend your judgment, and don’t worry that you may not like their answer
  • Become more comfortable with silence, and use that space to decide what you’ll say or ask next based on what you heard
  • Be ready to expend more time – energy – effort into listening
  • Truly believe that slowing down the pace, will speed up the sale
  • Turn OFF distractions, notifications, and nonsense

The payoff is extraordinary,

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