8 Tips for Getting Prospects to Listen to You

13 Mar

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Do you want to be heard? Below are eight suggestions that will encourage your prospect to listen to you more attentively…

1. Be an active listener. The #1 way to get your prospect to listen to you is to first listen to them. See my post last week on listening tips. It’s not just hearing them, it’s about observing their non-verbals. If you are a great listener, they will return the favor.

2. Get them to like you. This may not be the “popular method”, but they buy from YOU first and your company and product second and third. Engage the prospect by making it personal. If they dive into business right away, then you can’t talk about the weather or upcoming football game; but the opening 2-4 minutes is usually ripe for you to make it personal. Somewhere in their life whether it’s work or play, they have a passion that makes them glow a bit. If you can figure that out, then you will also enjoy the sales process with that prospect a little more.

  • Find out about their hobbies
  • Look around their office
  • View their LinkedIn profile
  • Do some on-line research (See Sam Richter’s book Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling)
  • Simply ask the prospect what they did last weekend – or what they are doing over the upcoming weekend

3. Show them something. They don’t want to listen to you. They want to see something (men are twice as likely to be interested in seeing or getting their hands around “things”). If you have a product, bring it along so they can touch it. If you are selling a service, show them a few documents as you are pitching them.

4. Let them talk. Your job is to lead a path where they are allowed to talk. Be prepared for every meeting or phone call with 10+ questions. If you can, ask them all! Psychologists a lot smarter than me claim that they literally will like you more, if the person across the table is talking 2/3’s of the time.

5. Show them confidence. Prospects want to buy from someone with poise and self-assurance. If you appear confident (not cocky), you have something they might want. Hold your head high, walk with a purpose into the meeting room and maintain eye contact with your prospect (the rule of thumb is 2/3rds of the time). Your charisma causes them to like you which leads to liking your company and product or service that much more.

6. Be authentic. This theme comes through in my posts repeatedly. You don’t have to be “that” kind of salesperson – aggressive, funny and competetive. Be sincere. Be honest. Be yourself. The only push a salesperson has to make is asking the right questions so you don’t waste anyone’s time. I  let new prospects know this simply by saying the following at the beginning of a call or meeting: “Joan, I’m here to mainly ask a few questions for 30 minutes and understand your company and it’s challenges around business development. I don’t want to waste your time, so you can stop me at any point. If we uncover that my business is a fit for your needs, I’d obviously like to proceed with a follow-up meeting. If we cannot help you, I’ll be the first one to identify that and leave it at this single meeting today. Does that sound fair?” (now their head is nodding and I’m starting the YES Sales Process). Be a genuine, good person while the suit is on Monday through Friday and in the rest of your life. In turn, you will easily connect with certain individuals who will like you and buy millions of dollars worth of your products or services in the future.

7. Know your stuff. All of the above only works if you are actually selling a great product or service. If it’s average or even just “good”, the entire sales process gets more difficult. Assuming you are representing a great company and tangible or intangible product, you had better know it through and through. If you are a greenhorn in a new role, it’s time to take your work home with you for some extra study sessions – or it will take you longer to earn the big commissions. There is always someone smarter than you that can aid in your education process (young and old!). You should be asking someone at least one question every day. Study your competition, understand your target audience, read your industry’s web sites and periodicals, attend the trade shows – and thoroughly know your product or service and its strengths and weaknesses.

8. Be unique. I’m tired of the professional world within which we operate. It is a barrier for creative marketing and often a wall in really getting to know your customer. I double-dog dare you to be unique and take the risk of losing out on some prospects that just don’t resonate with you. Your authentic style along with a little panache will attract the right prospects. The others will likely be the difficult customers and/or the least profitable customers anyway. Be something that none of your competitors dare to be, do something wild and crazy to get their attention, or heck name your company the Purple Octopus! Whatever you do, be great at it and be one of a kind.

Make every day count~

Drew Schmitz

www.linkedin.com/in/andrewschmitz/

http://www.blueoctopusllc.com

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/131nqty

Twitter: @drew_schmitz

One Response to “8 Tips for Getting Prospects to Listen to You”

  1. Marso, Mary March 14, 2014 at 12:48 am #

    That’s a lot of writing to do every week! Pretty soon you’ll have a book put together! ;-). p. s. I like the picture.

    Sent from my iPhone

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