When it comes to face-to-face sales, the importance of being able to speak persuasively is well documented. However, the ability to listen effectively seems to be somewhat underrated.
If you’ve never been formally trained in active listening and you want to advance your sales career, it’s worth reading up on this skill or undertaking a course designed to improve your listening skills. Here are some reasons why being a good listener can pay off in sales.
It can help you to build trust
The hard sell is a major turn-off for most people. If you’re reciting a sales script by rote and not letting the person you’re speaking to get a word in edgeways, you’re unlikely to be very successful. The likelihood is that the person you’re trying to sell to will switch off, believing that you prioritise making a sale over meeting their needs. This is likely to make them perceive what you say with distrust.
One business that understands the importance of active listening skills in creating trust in face-to-face sales is the Appco Group. The field marketing agency has developed an approach to sales named the Human Commercial™. As part of this concept, brand ambassadors are trained in active listening. Appco believes this skill is vitally important because it helps to make positive and lasting impressions and create engaging, two-way dialogues. In turn, brand ambassadors are likely to gain the trust and respect of their audience, making successful sales more likely.
It can help you to tailor your sales messages
It’s impossible to deliver a tailored sales message if you don’t know anything about the needs, priorities and concerns of the person you’re speaking to. Making assumptions about these things leaves you open to getting it very wrong and could lead to embarrassing situations. This is another reason that Appco UK makes listening a priority. Simply asking questions and listening carefully to the responses you receive can help you to adapt what you say and how you say it to make it more relevant and interesting to your audience. It also gives you the opportunity to respond to any impediments that would prevent a sale.
Showing an interest in the thoughts, feelings and experiences of the person you’re talking to can incite them to open up to you and create a mutually beneficial interaction. Being able to respond with information that is useful to them can persuade them to buy into what you’re saying and, consequently, buy what you’re selling.