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Active Listening, The Overlooked Sales Skill

Why listening is so important

The following is a summary of basic tips for active listening to improve your sales.

Learn how to listen.
So many salespeople love to express themselves! This is what makes them charismatic and fun to be around.However, it may also be what makes it difficult for these folks to listen. The ability to develop good listening skills will enable you to gather information critical to uncovering the buyers needs.Listening provides the added benefit of getting to know your prospect. Why is this so important? Your new prospect will share more personal and business related information in the initial meeting than at any other time. This information exchange allows for follow up discussions, relationship building , keys to finding buying motivations, and a wealth of other great information. Listening is the only way to develop a relationship that can produce trust,vital to the sales process.Once you have developed a trusted partnership, the first sale,future sales, and referrals are rewards of being a good listener. In sales, it is a natural tendency to want to strike up a conversation on initial contact with a prospect.Often, in the initial phase of the sales process, sales people will even go into selling mode. This is understandable as there is no common ground to converse with your prospect.However, this is the time to step back, take the uncomfortable verbal pause and allow the buyer to carry the conversational ball. This will give you information needed to get to the next level, provide the opportunity to develop a relationship , and prove that you care enough to listen. The skill of active listening includes leaning forward, nodding in agreement and acknowledging the needs of your prospect, as well as having empathy when needed. This can all be done without saying much at all.Facial expressions, body language and appropriate gestures show you are actively engaged in the conversation.If executed correctly, reaping the rewards of being a good listener will advance the sales process. So when you have the urge to fill the air with the music of your voice,hesitate and listen. It is easier than you may think, practice the art of listening, and reap the rewards.

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