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Sales Strategy
Dec 15, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

When speaking with a prospective client, it can be tempting to pitch your product or service to them right away to gauge their interest. 

But like a good friend who listens first, and then offers advice afterward, a good salesperson must have a similar approach. They listen first and get a sense of a client’s needs, then offer advice accordingly.

There are several reasons why being a good listener will ultimately make you a better salesperson:

You Will Learn Things That You May Not Have Found out Otherwise

Perhaps you’ve set up a time to speak with a prospective client, and have created a specific agenda of topics you would like to cover during your conversation. But, by listening carefully to your prospect talk about themselves and their business, you may learn things that you could not have found out otherwise that could come in handy down the road. Listening to prospective clients at the start of a potential new business relationship may reveal information that will help you strengthen the relationship, like what has and what hasn’t worked for them in the past, the competition you’re up against, and their overall preferences.

You Will Learn How to Target Your Approach to Be Specific to That Client

Every prospect is different. By listening to what they have to say at the beginning, you will be able to customize your pitch to be more in line with their needs. By the time you’ve given your pitch, it will be too late to find out the useful pieces information that will allow you to speak specifically to their needs. Listen first, and get to know your prospect, then explain what you have to offer in a way that is uniquely relevant to them. 

They’ll Trust You More

In both your professional and personal life, listening to someone shows that you care about what they have to say. By showing that you care from the beginning of a new relationship, you lay the groundwork for building trust. Developing this sense of trust is essential for any client relationship, and listening to a prospective client first - before offering any advice - will make them more likely to trust you, and eventually, your product or service.

You’ll Learn Immediately Whether They Actually Have a Need for Your Product or Service

Regardless of how great you are at selling, there is always a chance that your prospective client doesn’t really have a need for your product or service. By focusing your initial interaction on listening to what they have to say, you will find this out sooner rather than later, and will then be able to redirect your energies on other prospects.

Starting a potential new client relationship is always a pivotal period for any salesperson. By listening carefully to what your prospects have to say right from the start, you will get to know them better than you otherwise may have, and will be able to customize your explanation of what you have to offer in a more relevant and appealing way.  

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