That is a statement I share all of the time on my social media channels. I receive really interesting comments when I do.
But, did you know that this one concept can make or break your conversations with prospects and clients?
Back when I was first learning about sales and growing my business, I got this all wrong. Lately, I've been seeing my clients struggle with this concept too. So it's time for me to shed some light on a technique that is super simple, yet most business owners don't do it.
There, I said it. I work with really amazing coaches, consultants and health care experts that constantly want to turn their sales conversations into what they can do for the prospect or share their resume.
They make it about them -- not the person on the other end of the phone.
Often when they are talking to their prospective client, they have three things on their mind:
- Getting the sale - boy I could really use the money.
- Let me prove that I'm worth it. Let me show everything I know in this one call.
- I have spent loads on training and certification, they need to know that.
In all instances, my clients were missing the mark. Oftentimes, they shared information that their prospect didn't really care about instead of laser targeting in on what was really important to them.
I have to admit, I used to do the same thing and it wasn't effective for me either.
It's About Them
The person on the other end of the phone line is the important one in the conversation!
(Yes, I hope that when you are having sales conversations you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.)
When someone calls you to discuss services, they have already begun identifying what is important to them. Until you listen, you don't know what that is.
Seek to "understand" first.
Really get into their situation and their pain/problems. Know where they are coming from.
People want to be heard and most want to hire someone that understands where they are coming from.
By talking less and listening more, you gain really important information and so does your prospect.
Consider Starting Your Understanding Before the Call
Some of the best professionals I know, have some kind of intake form that the prospective client fills out before a conversation starts.
Your intake form can be very simple or very complex depending on the type of work you do.
You can learn a lot about a prospective client before you talk to them:
- How serious are they?
- How detailed are they?
- What is their vision? Do they have a vision?
- What do they say and what don't they say?
Your intake form can provide a lot of insight and help you have a really transformative conversation with them.
When You Are On The Phone, Listen!
I realize that sounds rudimentary, however; many people just don't do it right.
They hear the first few sentences and dive right into solutions.
I've recorded a few podcasts on this topic that have received some great comments. They are short, so take a listen and practice applying the techniques I share.
Passive Listening = Powerful Authentic Communication (00:03:30)
How to Let them Know You Understand = Powerful Authentic Communication (00:04:32)
Active Listening with Strategic Questions = Powerful Authentic Communication (00:04:17)
What Did I Miss?
I've used the "understand" vs "over-stand" in a number of different contexts in my business. Do you think it applies here? How do you make sure you understand your prospects real needs?
To your "listening to fully understand" success!