5 tips to start listening before a sales call begins

Active listeningA 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.Call Planning

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.

Do you want to take a deeper dive into active listening, call planning and other sales skills? Click here.

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©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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One Response to 5 tips to start listening before a sales call begins

  1. Carrie says:

    I’ve been loikong for a post like this forever (and a day)

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