Improving your sales presentation is one massive way you can close more deals. One of the keys to a successful sales presentation is good listening skills, which is so important that it deserves an entire article dedicated to it.
Contrary to popular belief and common practices, sales is not about explaining something more or in a better way. A successful sales person is one who knows how to listen intently and demonstrate their ability to do so.
The sales person that talks too much is the one set up for failure because they aren’t listening effectively. Without further ado, let’s get started.
4 Tips To Listen Better As A Salesperson
Tip #1: Paraphrase What Your Prospect Is Saying Back To Them
Whether your prospect has an objection or a question, repeat what they just said back to them, in your own words. In doing this, you are asking for clarification for your understanding, and confirming whether or not you did really catch their intended message.
Doing this also shows your prospect that you were listening and do truly understand what they’re saying. By clarifying your prospect’s question, you are then able to provide a better answer for them as well.
Tip #2: Ask Questions
A good rule of thumb is to be asking more questions than you are necessarily talking or selling.
Asking questions demonstrates to your prospect that you are genuinely curious and interested in learning about your prospects’ problems so you can help solve them.
Of course there’s also the added benefit of just understanding your prospect a lot better by asking questions. Understanding your prospect is the key to being able to sell to them.
When is the right time to ask questions?
If there is any point that seems vague or needs a deeper explanation, now is a good time to ask questions about it.
If you want to know who they need to speak with or what the next steps for them would entail to move the process forward, ask them that question.
By asking questions, it’s a win-win situation. The prospect will feel heard, and you will gain the benefits of understanding them in order to sell to them better.
Tip #3: Practice Labeling
Label a situation, putting into words the way you understood it.
By labeling, your prospect will either agree to it or correct you on your understanding of the situation. Labeling has a strong uncanny ability to get people to open up and describe in more depth and detail.
Let’s say you are talking about pricing with your prospect.
Your prospect reacts in a way that seems as if they think your pricing is a bit too expensive.
They say, “Just send me some information and we can talk about it,” in hopes to quickly wrap up the meeting.
In this case, you can label the situation by saying, “It seems like you had something else in mind” or “it seems like this wasn’t the price you were expecting.”
When you label a situation, it causes the prospect to open up.
Now, your prospect may say something like, “Honestly, I thought it was going to cost ____ much, but now it’s completely out of our budget.”
Even if labeling happens to disqualify a prospect, it is better to disqualify them than to waste more time on trying to sell to someone who isn’t the right fit.
Let’s say your prospect is asking if your solution has specific capabilities and features.
You can then label the situation by saying, “It looks like you have some other solutions in mind that you’re comparing us to.”
They proceed to open up and tell you what other solutions they’re looking at, what they’re comparing you to, what they like and don’t like, etc.
By labeling, you can uncover more information that will help you move the sale forward.
- Special thanks to Chris Voss, author of Never Split The Difference, for the concept of labeling.
- Go follow Josh Braun on LinkedIn who is great at explaining how to put labeling into practice.
Tip #4: Pay Attention To Small Cues And Ask About Them
Communication is more than just verbal speech. It encompasses facial expressions, body language, tonality, and more. All of these non-verbal signs of communication can give you other messages that unspoken words may not.
Point out the small cues you pick up from your prospect to open up a conversation that may provide you with helpful information to move the sale forward.
As you’re speaking, you notice your prospects’ eyes flicker with interest as they mumble a soft, but interested, “hmm” under their breath.
You can say to them, “I noticed your eyes lit up just now. What did you notice that made you do that?”
Point out all the little things you notice. By doing so, your prospect will see that you’re really paying attention and you will gain more insight into their thoughts which could help you close the deal.
Applying Effective Listening Techniques to Deliver The Best B2B Sales Presentation
By paraphrasing, asking questions, labeling and asking about the small cues you pick up, you are now on the path to understanding your prospect significantly more which will ultimately help you become better at sales.
Listening not only shows your prospect that you’re paying attention and genuinely interested, it’s also an effective way of collecting useful information for yourself to help move the sale forward.
Once your prospect is in the funnel, check out our other blog articles that will help you throughout the sales process: