17. Only 13% of customers believe sales reps understand their needs
Take the time to listen. Too many buyers complain that salespeople do not fully understand their needs and problems. You cannot sell a solution for a problem you don’t know about.
It is said “Customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” and listening deeply is a fundamental skill for every salesperson to take on as a process of continuous learning. Forever. Take it on as a practice, like meditation and yoga. Find different ways to learn questioning skills – as a form of communication, connection, and problem-solving – and not just as a selling skill. Practice asking “Tell me more about that…” in EVERY conversation. Practice BEING inquisitive and interested. Practice asking questions to take a conversation deeper than surface level and see what happens.
AS a Sales Manager, BE the example of listening skills and practice. Ask yourself:
• Do I ask questions to help my sales team members to discover solutions or do I tell them what to do?
• Do I consciously practice developing MY questioning skills with my salespeople, with support people, with customers?
• Do I fully appreciate the skill of asking questions and deeply listening to responses?
Is there room for me to grow in this area? Am I willing to take that on?
Making website material mobile-friendly and having trained salespeople ready for web sales is crucial to your bottom line. If you’re not keeping up with the mobile and tablet movement, you will be left behind.
Consider getting a second line on your phone so that your customers can call you, or become facile with your tablet so that you can use it for sketching, web searching your competition, scheduling appointments, etc. If you aren’t living in the technology that is current today, the world will move beyond you and you won’t see it happening. Be up to date with the technology that your customers and prospects are using so that they see you as a ‘resource’ and not just a salesperson.
I listen to owners and managers who don’t want their salespeople to have their phones with them on the showroom floor…seriously??? Their phone is a computer, a camera, a calendar and can access mobile data. YOU need to live in this techno world and make it HOW you and your team do business. Check out what your competition is doing with their website and how hand-held technology is impacting the customer experience – GET to that level THIS year and go beyond it next year.
You are not alone in your resistance to improvement…or rather to the actions that deliver improvement. In fact, you are human in your resistance to taking new actions that will produce new and desired outcomes. As am I.
I hired a coach in January, had an initial meeting and brainstorming session, was given homework to produce before the next meeting (which was yet unscheduled) and have only produced 25% of that work and have not yet scheduled a follow-up call. To be fair, I had hip replacement surgery 2 weeks ago and am home recuperating, so I have a valid and understandable ‘reason’ for my lack of action. And yet I find myself engaged in time-wasting distractions instead of using that time for the actions that I agreed to do.
Why am I tell you this? For a couple of reasons: 1. I want to fess up and recommit to taking action. 2. I want you to see how someone who encourages you to do the hard stuff can just as easily dissuade themselves from the actions that they gave their word to do.
Thanks for listening and for your courageous development.