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The Art of Listening

Actually listening to your prospect is a vital part of the sales process. And once you’ve listened, it is critical to find a way to communicate with your prospect down the road. Learn how Maverick can help!

We get it! You are a salesperson. You need to sell your product! (It’s like the football coach Herm Edwards famously said: “You play to win the game!”) And we all do this next part: you are already thinking about the next thing you are going to say before the prospect is even done speaking. We are all guilty of it! What happens when you do that? Well, if you’re anything like us, you’re mentally constructing your phrases so you can sound as witty and in-tune as you possibly can. But while you’re doing that, you are listening to the voice in your head put all of that together. You are so in tune to that voice that it drowns out your prospect until… 

You didn’t hear a thing they said in the last 20 seconds they were saying it.

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. We all do it. I promise. 

But it can be fixed. It’s a trick called “listening without interrupting.” And even if you are not actively interrupting the person with your amazing new idea, you are interrupting your ability to actually listen to and process the idea. We think we are adding to the conversation, but in reality, we’re oftentimes stalling it and talking over our prospect. It may feel as if the conversation is going amazing, but the prospect finishes and sort of feels as if they weren’t heard. And your proposal, or your next suggestion, reflects that. Boom, you’ve lost the sale, and you didn’t even know it. 

Think about how many times someone calls you and says “I have the perfect X for your business.” It could be an ad campaign, tool, you name it. But in reality, they do not know your business. They have not sat with you in planning meetings, and they may think they know your goals, but in reality, they have a grasp on where you were. Their research may be airtight, but without knowing where you want to go, they can’t know how they can help you. It is frustrating to you as a prospect, so imagine how it must feel for your prospects when you do it!

When you listen, make sure you’re in distraction-free mode. Not in email, not on social media, not texting someone. Listening to the person to whom you are actually speaking. Writing things down, as that keeps your other hand occupied. You don’t have to have the world’s best idea on the call; that’s what a follow-up email is for. But the goal of the first call with a prospect is to learn what you can about their business, their business goals, and how you can fit into their business. And yes, learn something about them that you can recall for your next conversation or email. Is there an unmet need? A pain point? Find it. A reason why they might not be able to buy from you now, but would consider it later? Listen for those. Make notes of them.

The previous process used to involve a task list for those follow-up emails, but we built Maverick to allow you to schedule emails well into the future. Of course, you will want to send a follow-up email pretty quickly after the fact, but we’ve all been there when a prospect just does not respond to those. So then the next email comes into play, and the one after that. We built Maverick ENGAGE™ to allow you to schedule those check-in emails, the birthday emails, the ones where you simply let the prospect know you’re thinking about them… so your prospecting activity then becomes intertwined with your follow-up activity, ultimately resulting in more sales.

Selling is about developing a relationship with your client. You can only truly develop a relationship with your client when you are attuned to their needs. Getting attuned to their needs means that you need to listen. And listening is not enough if the words you hear go into a black hole. Our tools will help you continue to sell, and sell better, and build the relationships that truly create value for your prospects. 

For more information, click here and schedule a consultation. We will walk you through the tool and help you learn how Maverick can help your business grow. 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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