Part 17 of 20: HubSpot Sales Statistics…With Secret Sauce Added

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.

sales understand


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.

Sales Managers

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?



Jody Smiling Photo copy

Obstacle or Vehicle?

For sales professionals, everywhere. When evaluating a sales interaction with a customer, ask yourself: Am I paving the way for them to make a decision or am I IN the way of a decision happening? I observe salespeople inadvertently blocking … Continue reading

Get a Foot in the Door….

Get a Foot in the Door

For salespeople everywhere

Most people think that to ‘get a foot in the door’ means to have some sort of entrance into a place that has been otherwise inaccessible to you.  And if you look up the term, that is the first definition.

The second definition is equally interesting.  It comes from a time when door to door salespeople would put their ‘foot in the door’ when the homeowner opened it to keep it from closing on them.  Can’t you just picture that?

So I got to thinking….

If we are truly out to generate sales versus just responding to buyer requests, we need to find a way to get in the door and to keep that door open to us.

Making the Inaccessible Accessible

Do you have a client database – actually set up as a database?  In Outlook, Access, Excel?  Set up in way that you can easily access it?  I have found that salespeople and designers don’t use their database for additional business or projects and even less for building opportunities for referral business.  If you have one, pull it out and dust it off and start mailing or calling your favorites.  Create and prepare a ‘reason’ to be in touch – a reason that would benefit them.

If you want to build your business through referral, or if you want them to make an introduction, ask them to do that.  People really like to help other people, and if they like you and you’ve contributed to the relationship in ways that work for them, they will help you.  Trust me and try it.  Today.

Stay In

Consider ‘openers’ in conversation that are engaging, thoughtful, and inquisitive.  Ask someone something that’s different from what everyone else asks.  Get their attention and hold it.  When I work with teams who have inside and outside salespeople, I encourage the outside salespeople to give the inside peeps ‘openers’, something that they can say “Karen told me that you…..” and then ask more questions about that.  Ask good questions and listen deeply to their answers.  When we get stuck or the conversation stops, it’s often because we got distracted or started thinking about ourselves.  Ask the other person to ‘tell me more about that’…and then start listening again.

Our results are closely linked to how we begin – the conversation, the connection, the relationship.  Let’s do better at getting off on the right foot and getting that foot in the door, and keeping it there.

Now, go ask some questions and sell something!