- December 10, 2020
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
Short article today. Prospects don’t pay a lot of attention so the less you say the better. It helps them listen and comprehend more of what you share with them when you use fewer words. But prospects aren’t the only ones who don’t listen. Salespeople don’t listen very well either. As a matter of fact, my dog has better listening skills than most salespeople because my dog knows what to listen for. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it in the video below.
For an overwhelming majority of salespeople, I can’t even use “listening” and “salespeople” in the same sentence. That’s because they either:
- don’t listen because they are so busy talking
- hear but aren’t really listening
- listen but aren’t listening for the right things
- listen for the right things but don’t ask the appropriate follow up questions to leverage what was said
According to Objective Management Group’s (OMG) data on the evaluation and assessment of 2,040,738 salespeople, only 27% of all salespeople listen effectively. Looking at the top 5% of all salespeople, only 57% of that elite group listens effectively. Only 10% of the bottom half and 0% of the bottom 10% listen effectively.
Listening is the one selling skill that salespeople find most difficult to understand and improve. If you can’t actively listen, then how can you ask the appropriate follow up question? If you can’t ask follow up questions because you don’t know which question to ask next, then you’ll find yourself explaining, educating, presenting, and wasting time because most prospects simply aren’t interested in having salespeople regurgitate what they can find online in a couple of clicks. And if that’s what salespeople end up doing on sales calls, it becomes a transactional, price-driven conversation instead of a value-based, consultative conversation.
Watch how well my dog listens in this enjoyable one-minute video.
In the spring of 2017, we brought Dinger home as a puppy and I wrote this article explaining why he is so much easier to train than most salespeople.
I don’t understand why companies and their salespeople still claim to have competitive pricing. It’s a race to the bottom because no matter what you tell me, in your industry, vertical, territory, area of expertise, and product category, there can be only a single company that will have the lowest price and it’s not going to be you! How do I know? If you had the lowest price you wouldn’t be reading articles on how to become more effective. Instead, you would be quite content taking orders from the buyers who only buy from the company with the lowest price
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