My top, three sales ideas/techniques
1. Allow the customer to speak 70% (or more) of the total interaction time. To begin using this technique, at the end of an upcoming sales interaction, rate your listening versus speaking percentage. For example, 40% listening/60% speaking.
Compare the effectiveness/success of a respective meeting, with the particular listening/speaking ratio you used in the meeting. Over time, consider whether increasing your listening percentage correlates with more meeting effectiveness/success.
Using pause gaps in your interactions can also help you give the customer more ‘air time’. A pause gap – best used in a one on one interaction – is intermittently allowing a full one second pause after the other person has stopped speaking and before you begin to speak.
The pause gap has several positive features. It can give the other person time to offer more information. It can give you time to reflect on what the person has said before you respond, as well as giving you time to choose how to respond. It can give you time to observe and reflect on the person’s voice tone, face and body language to more deeply understand the person.
2. Embrace the concept: ‘Less is more’. That is, using less words to explain your ideas, has more impact. To use this technique consider a phrase or sentence you routinely use to describe your product or service. Consider how you might convey the message with less words.
Using an Open – Middle – Close speaking structure can help you use less words. In practice it could work like this. You’re in a meeting and someone asks your opinion on the matter at hand. You respond in this way. (Open) “Here’s my view. (Middle) I think we should invest the $2.5 million because it will prevent the system crash and reputational damage that QRT recently had. (Close) That’s my view.”
3. Perceived genuine passion sells. This means you are perceived as genuinely passionate/enthusiastic about your products and services and about how they can help your customers. To develop the use of this idea, set aside five minutes of writing time. Write and ‘re-sell yourself’ on the worth your product/service delivers to your customers.
(By the way I selected the three techniques after reviewing an old list I had – as far back as 2004 – of top sales techniques. Of the 23 I reviewed, the above ideas/techniques I judged to be the best.)
The ‘how to apply’ for this post: In the next seven days, choose and act on one of the above ideas/techniques and reflect on the impact of using it.