Indifference is a fantastic personal characteristic to have if you’re the roguish leading man in a sweeping Civil War tale, but it’s not quite as charming if you’re a career salesperson trying your best to generate business in a slow economy. The funny thing is that many of us have adopted a Rhett Butler style of prospecting that is highly ineffective – particularly in these challenging times.
If you are not focusing your energies on asking your prospects questions, you might as well be telling them that you don’t give a damn! It’s certainly easy to get into the mindset that all you need to do is sell, sell, sell. This can lead to you prematurely rattling off features and benefits before you even know your prospect’s particular situation.
The sales process begins with a dialog, not a lecture and continues with your ability to be a good listener. Here are just a few other reminders on how to connect with those you’re selling to and actually give a damn.
No one likes a know-it-all or a high pressure salesperson. Your job is to initially gather information and put your prospect at ease. If you can develop a strong comfort level, you’ll eliminate any chance of buyers’ remorse down the road.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
To gather the information you require to determine your prospect’s needs, avoid questions that can be merely answered with a yes or no. Productive questions begin with “how”, “what”, “why”, or “tell me about”. Give them the opportunity to reveal the details that will ultimately enable you to sell more effectively.
Show Your Empathy
Once you begin developing a rapport, you will have the ability to show real empathy for someone’s particular situation. You can then take the information you’ve gathered and your honest desire to help them to sell them exactly what they need.
Once you’ve landed an account, don’t fall into that comfortable position of being just an order-taker. Maintain the dialog, keep asking questions, and continue to ask how you can help.