Everyone tells you that you must ask the client what their needs are and then carefully listen. This is important (and infinitely better than not asking them and not listening); but the problem is that in a sale situation the client can tell that you are in ‘transactional’ listening mode – listening to enable you to get information as you want to sell them something.
The best way to sell is in the context of a relationship and the best way to build a relationship is to genuinely listen and engage with the client. When a client knows that you are listening to them because you are genuinely interested in them, their issues and their business, the client engages with you differently. You will find out a lot more information and the client will become far more disposed to buy from you. So next time you are with a client, check yourself and decide which of 3 potential behaviours are you exhibiting:
- talking (selling) rather than listening
- transactional listening
- active listening due to a genuine interest in them