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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Secret to a Good 'Sell'....

The key to experiencing a good 'Sell' -- one where both you and your customer walk away satisfied and happy -- is the simplest concept but often the hardest thing to do. In fact, we even find it hard to do in our discussions with our families/friends and in everyday life experiences. What is it?? LISTEN.

I don't mean to just listen to what I am saying, I mean to LISTEN in general. When we listen, we gather new data, we evaluate this data against what we already know, and we figure out what we don't know. So, being able to actively listen to our customer let's us learn about them and ask genuine questions about them. How will we benefit them?

Think about this from the client's perspective.... Have you every been in a conversation where you felt like you were being ignored, talked at/over, or worst, lectured or patronized? Compare this to the first conversation with a new friend where the actively wanted to know more about you? Which did you enjoy and which did you walk away from as soon as possible?

This concept is 'stuff' we all know, that we are taught by our parents and teachers and experience in our daily lives. But how easily we forget this when we are in a position of knowledge or authority, where we are telling others what we know (and assume they don't), or where we feel like we are in control. ...like when a person new to alpacas approaches us with interest in one of our animals or fiber products.

How can Selling be a lack of Listening?

The "Orator":
Sometimes it is done with good intentions -- we want them to know all the wonderful things we know about the fiber or the animal! ...And, we completely overwhelm them information they cannot absorb and they feel tired and beaten after their 'force-feeding'. That person relishes going to the 'other' farm whose laid back attitude is like a moment of refreshing silence. More is not always better -- there is such a thing as too much of a good thing!

The "Hard Sell aka The Car Salesman':
Sometimes it is done with the intent to direct the conversation to what we want to talk about.... 'You don't want that sensible little used car over there, but you do want this supercharged sports car here, dontcha now?' This heavy-handed method may work on some sells but does not lead to a feeling of satisfaction and happiness with an ongoing relationship and repeat purchase. There is no confidence in this relationship.

The "Ego":
Sometimes, well frankly, the person is full of themselves. They know more about this topic than you ever can in your life -- just ask them, because they will tell you so. Remember you are not selling yourself.

So, listen, ask questions, and learn about what your customer wants.... and maybe you will make a friend or at least a satisfied customer rather than just a sell.

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Want learn more about the importance of listening more than talking? You can find out more in the business self help section of your local library as well as in numerous free business newsletters such as Smartblogs, Inc, Ellie Winslow, Openforum, etc.