A week in the field with sales reps and you’ll see too many sales calls where the sales reps just talk too much. Inquire why and you’ll hear comments like these: “a great product will sell itself if I just talk about …” or “my customers tell me they want to know everything about our new …” or “ if I am talking I know the customer will forget about that objection.” And of course, we’ve all heard that“nature abhors a vacuum.”
Regardless of the “why”, the end result is clear. By talking, the sales rep isn’t listening.
We’ve written a lot about active listening - its importance and how to’s. One point we haven’t raised is when active listening starts. Contrary to popular thinking, active listening in sales calls starts before the sales call begins.
5 tips for preparing for sales calls before your sales call begins
1. Clear your mind of distractions so you can focus 100% on the customer – make notes or tasks lists that you can pick up later.
2. Pre-call plan so the sales call is focused and you prevent brain freeze.
3. Plan in advance to limit the time you spend talking to 20% to 25% of the conversaetion.
4. Drop the assumption that you already know exactly what the customer needs or will say.
5. Turn off your tablet, computer, phone and other beeping devices.
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