Listening will tell you everything you need to know about your prospect and what strategy to use when negotiating.
Some of my clients who had the opportunity to watch me negotiate in person made the following comments: That I don’t talk too much, I observe the other party; I ask questions, my facial expressions speak, and that the other party does most of the talking.
As the result of active listening, the person you’re talking to will feel important because they are being heard. They will believe that you get it and you are on the same page.
Signing a deal or winning a negotiation has to do with your ability to listen well and gather relevant information.
Listen Like A Sales Champion by Asking Simple Questions
If you want to listen like a sales champion I suggest that you ask simple questions to get the other party to talk. It’s amazing how many people out there love to talk and it’s in those flow of words coming out of their mouth which tells you how to win the day. Just by asking such simple words like, what’s important to you about……, or could you tell me more ……….., or what will make your company better, etc.
12 Tips to Listen Like A Sales Champion
- Ask open-ended questions – to open up and get them talking.
- Repeat back what they said, using their words. This tells the other person that you hear them and creates rapport. Do not paraphrase in your words because if the words are different from theirs, it can show that you aren’t listening, and it can break rapport. It’s about what they say, not what you think.
- So what I’m hearing you say is………….?
- Ask for clarity like specifics as often as you need.
- What did you mean when you said……?
- Specifically how does ………….., going to give you what you want?
- Validate what they are saying. This will make them feel that what they are saying means something that it`s important. Again, this will create rapport.
- It makes sense for you to feel the way you do.
- You have the right to feel the way you do.
- Listen for “tells”. These are words or statements which are clues. Someone says to you, “after you ship the products, or “once you sell my house”, or “when would you be able to start?”.
- Watch for facial expressions and if you see one, ask them straight out.
- It seems that you have a concern about …………., may I ask what that is? This will let them know that you are paying attention.
- Watch body language. What does it means when someone crosses their arms when you ask them something, or they rub their chin?
- Don’t interrupt them when they are speaking consider waiting for them to pause.
- Look for inconsistencies in what they are saying. Very important when negotiating.
- Listen for values and/or what is important to them. Do they repeat the same things over?
- It seems that……. Is very important to you, then pause. Again, this builds rapport.
- Don’t say “I understand”, how can you understand if you are not in their shoes? Say:
- It’s understandable, or
- I hear what you are saying.
- Summarize what they said using their words and getting agreement from them.
Truth or Fiction
I once heard that introverts make the best salespeople because they have the ability to listen well, whereas extroverts don’t.