The BDU team ranked this BDU blog post as #1, plus a few other top blog posts we don’t want you to miss
We recently asked our BDU team members to select one post from our blog that they felt was important for people to see and read. More than half of the group selected Are You Truly Listening? and here’s why:
Beth Rosenfeld, Vice President Sales Strategy
Knowing how to truly listen to others and understand their needs has always been a critical element to developing strong, authentic and effective relationships. However, during these pandemic times when people are exceptionally stressed and patience is worn thin, it is more important than ever to know how to ask the right questions, truly HEAR what others are telling us and provide customized solutions to each individual’s or company’s problems.
By listening to others, we accomplish three significant things: making people feel valued, showing respect for their time, and creating the ability to provide customized solutions to their problems. Remember, when we assist in the success of others we create our own success as a result.
Christine Miller, Sales Trainer and Coach, New England Region
Listening for understanding is so important in sales and life overall. When we give clients the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns, and we truly listen, we open a world of possibilities. When we understand, we can provide solutions to their challenges as well as a roadmap to their success. When we listen, we can become helpers not sellers!
Michelle Parisi, Sales Coach And Consultant
“Are You Truly Listening” is the blog post that also resonates most with me. There are many reasons why, including:
- It puts the focus on client/prospect needs and solution-based selling instead of your “pitch”
- It’s genuine and in the best interest of the client/prospect, and it goes a long way in creating trust
- By listening instead of talking, you learn more about opportunities that an otherwise pitch-based salesperson might miss
- You set the tone for nurturing a long-term sales process
- It speaks to confidence on the part of the salesperson, searching for the “right fit” versus just trying to hit quota
- It works because it’s the right way to sell!
Tom Gill, Sales Coach and Trainer
This is one of my favorites because I’m a big fan of the FranklinCovey brand and of Dr. Stephen Covey’s epic work on the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” (Habit #5 – Seek first to understand, then be understood). It has had a profound impact on me over the years. Also, as a long-standing member of Toastmasters and a voracious reader, I am always looking for the “edge” – that little nugget to help me grow in my profession as a coach and to pass that learning on to clients by way of example.
As sales professionals we don’t always truly listen to our clients and, equally as important, listen to what’s not being said. The skill of “reading between the lines” can help you uncover blind spots. Over the years, I have worked on each of the eight behaviors and most recently have been reminded to practice empathy more. Growing up in the 80’s we didn’t learn that skill. 😊
While Are You Truly Listening? might have garnered the top spot, here are a few other posts that team members said you should be sure to check out:
Rachel Acquaviva, Chief Administrative Officer “Squeeze the Lemon”: How to Get the Most Out of All You Do
It’s not about making lemonade from lemons but about really squeezing every last bit of “juice” out of everything you’re doing. I can’t tell you how many times I think to myself “Am I squeezing the lemon right now?” From working on small projects while waiting on hold for a phone call to stacking my errands so I do the ones closest to each other in the same day, I am always asking myself what more I can do to maximize my time, energy and efforts to make the most of everything I do.
Janet Nankin, Managing Director, Southeast Region Start Helping, Not Selling
I have been working to reinvent myself over the past 1.5 years and adopting this point of view has made reaching out to prospects so much easier for me! I find it more empowering to know I am helping versus selling. Also, we recently had a guest on our Sales Success Peer Group who suggested we add “trusted advisor” to LinkedIn descriptions. Nobody wants to be sold anything, but they do want to buy.
Jeanne Behr, Sales Coach and Consultant Determine Your Desired Outcome
This concept has been one that I used every day in my sales career. As a part of my pre-call planning, I would determine what I wanted to happen as a result of the meeting. Every time I drove to the call, I visualized how the meeting would go and how I wanted to feel driving back to the office having accomplished those goals.
As a sales coach, with every coaching session that I have we focus on pre-call planning for any appointments that are coming up. Depending on the type of meeting – whether it is with a prospect, an existing client or a center of influence – we use three extremely valuable tools that BDU has put together: the Prospect Visit Checklist, Client Visit Checklist and Networking Meeting Checklist. These sheets are a fabulous guide to have at your fingertips for pre-call planning before and during the meeting to make sure you get to cover everything that you want to cover and to keep you focused and on track.
Because the end is ultimately determined by the beginning, keeping “Determine Your Desired Outcome” as your mantra allows you to be as prepared as possible throughout all steps of the sales cycle so that you have a complete understanding of your client’s needs and a customized solution that addresses those needs. You’ll create a win/win partnership, developing trust and a foundation for future opportunities.