Sales people are often judged by being able to “talk the talk”. They could sell anything they want, they could even sell ice to an eskimo! That’s the stereotype that sales people are judged by, and for many that’s what they aim to be.

This stereotype makes the assumption that the mouth is the most powerful sales tool. It implies that by knowing how to talk you will be successful in sales, and perhaps at one time that may have been true.

What you get is sales people who talk too much, who try to talk their customers into buying. This can’t be the right way to sell!

So what is the most powerful sales tool?  

It’s not a breakthrough statement, but I believe that listening is the most powerful sales tool. It’s only by listening that you can identify sales opportunities. It’s only by listening that you can identify your customers needs. It’s only by listening that you can create good relationships with your clients.

How can listening help you sell?

1. Let the customer talk to you about what they need. If you assume they need something, you might not give them the chance to tell you that they need more!

2. Showing an interest in your customer and asking questions builds strong relationships. People love it when someone shows an interest, and the more you know about the customer, the better position you’re in.

3. You can’t find the best solution for the customer unless you actually know the problem. Let the customer tell you!

4.If you ask a lot of questions you’ll find out more information, but only if you listen to the answer. Sales people can often ask a question and think in their head how they’re going to sell, and not actually listen!

Talking to a Wall

What do you think? Do you think that listening is the most powerful sales tool, or do you think talking is more powerful? I’d love to know what you think so please do write your opinion in the comments box.

Daniel Disney