What is the number one complaint customers make about salespeople? According to a survey conducted by the Purchasing Manager’s Association of America, it’s that salespeople talk too much and listen too little.
Poor salespeople dominate the talking. Top sales people dominate the listening.
Here are some tips for active listening:
1. Avoid distractions. Listening is best done in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere.
2. Interact through body language. Stay alert and interested in the conversation.
3. Don’t interrupt. Sounds easy. It’s not.
4. Don’t be afraid of silence. If you ask a question, wait for the answer. Don’t feel as if you have to fill every void in the conversation.
5. Make sure that you understand what the customer is saying. Paraphrase and repeat what the customer has said to make sure that you’re both on the same page.
6. Ask pertinent questions, and don’t be afraid to clarify.
7. Avoid arguing and stay focused.
8. Summarize points that have been made at key moments.
Your customers want to feel like they are the most important thing in your world. They deserve your undivided attention, even if it’s only for a few minutes.